Close Corporate Tax Loopholes

PERVASIVE TAX AVOIDANCE — Across the country, some of the nation’s most prosperous companies — including GE, Google and Goldman Sachs — have avoided paying the taxes they owe, costing taxpayers $150 billion last year.

LOOPHOLES COST CALIFORNIANS $21.6 BILLION LAST YEAR

No company should be able to game the tax system to avoid paying what it legitimately owes. And, yet, establishing shell companies in offshore havens for the purpose of tax avoidance is becoming more the rule than the exception for at least 83 of the nation's top 100 publicly traded companies. GE, Google, Goldman Sachs and dozens of others have created hundreds of phantom entities with nothing more than a clever tax attorney and P.O. box.

The most recent academic studies estimate that as a country we lose $150 billion a year in tax revenue due to offshore tax havens. That's money that is shouldered by average taxpayers, either through cuts to public services, additional taxes today or additional debt to be paid by the next generation.

It’s not illegal, but it’s not right.

The result? The average taxpayer paid $1,026 more this year to cover the billions that GE and others that use offshore tax havens skipped out on. And small businesses and companies that don’t use these schemes have to struggle to compete with those that do. 

Meanwhile, state legislatures and Congress are considering deep cuts for essential public programs — from education, to health care, to clean air and drinking water. They’re asking us to tighten our belts and make sacrifices, while giving the tax haven crew a free ride. We are pushing for common-sense changes that simply say that if corporations are based here and generate profits here, then they should, like all of us who earn income here, pay the taxes they owe.

Issue updates

Media Hit | Budget, Tax

Can't see much in the cloud

Good government is transparent government. Unless the people know what's going on with the numbers, “their” government isn't properly serving them.

> Keep Reading
Media Hit | Tax

Gov. Jerry Brown faulted for taking down transparency website

Gov. Jerry Brown’s decision to take down a "transparency" website helped earn California a D-minus grade on public reporting of spending from a group advocating for open government.

> Keep Reading
Media Hit | Budget, Tax

How state got D minus in government transparency

California, home of so much brilliance and innovation, should be ashamed that Texas and Kentucky lead the nation in using the tools of technology to make their government spending more transparent to their citizens. Even worse is that 35 other states scored higher than California in a recent analysis by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

> Keep Reading
News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund | Budget, Tax

California Receives a “D minus” in Annual Report on Transparency of Government Spending

California received a “D minus” when it comes to government spending transparency, according to Following the Money 2012: How the States Rank on Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data, the third annual report of its kind by the California Public Interest Research Group Education Fund (CALPIRG Education Fund). 

> Keep Reading
Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Budget, Tax

Following the money 2012

The ability to see how government uses the public purse is fundamental to democracy. Transparency in government spending promotes fiscal responsibility, checks corruption, and bolsters public confidence.

> Keep Reading

Pages

News Release | CALPIRG | Budget, Tax

New Safeguards For Public Library Privatization Pass Senate

Legislation that will help ensure proposals to privatize public libraries are a good deal for the public passed the state senate today.  

> Keep Reading
News Release | CALPIRG | Budget, Tax

Balanced Budget Can’t Include Building Sale

A budget that includes selling off public buildings to lease back to ourselves for more money than the sale generates isn’t a balanced budget.

> Keep Reading
News Release | CALPIRG | Budget, Tax

Off-Shore Tax Havens Cost California Taxpayers $440 a Year

Major corporations and some individuals avoid a total of as much as $100 billion a year in federal taxes by “off-shoring” the profits they make here in the U.S. or by setting up sham headquarters in tax haven countries. As a result, California taxpayers are left footing the bill.

> Keep Reading
News Release | CALPIRG | Budget, Tax

California Earns “D+” in Annual Report on Transparency of Government Spending

California gets a “D+” when it comes to openness about government spending, according to Following the Money 2011: How the States Rank on Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data, the second annual report of its kind by the California Public Interest Research Group Education Fund (CALPIRG). 

> Keep Reading

Pages

View AllRSS Feed

PRIORITY ACTION

Some of the nation’s best-known companies — including GE, Google and Goldman Sachs — have avoided paying the taxes they owe, costing us $100 billion last year.

Support Us

Your donation supports CALPIRG’s work to stand up for consumers on the issues that matter, especially when powerful interests are blocking progress.

Consumer Alerts

Join our network and stay up to date on our campaigns, get important consumer updates and take action on critical issues.
Optional Member Code