April 5, 2013

Countdown to Tax Day: Day 11, Who Pays?

COMING MONDAY: A growing list of all events and happenings as hundreds of groups team up across the country to unite and engage the public under the brand “WHO PAYS” – a focus on tax breaks for the rich and loopholes for corporations that increase burdens on our families.

NEW REPORT ON TAX HAVENS PROVES REAL IMPACT: Offshore Tax Havens Cost Average Taxpayer $1,026 a Year, Small Businesses $3,067, according to the Public Interest Research Group.

–“Tax dodging is not a victimless offense. When companies use accounting gimmicks to move their

profits to tax haven shell companies, the rest of us have to pick up the tab,” said Dan Smith, Tax

and Budget Advocate for U.S. PIRG and report co-author. “With the nation facing such serious budget challenges, it’s a no-brainer that we need to close these loopholes and stop letting large

corporations avoid paying what they should.”

READ THE REPORT: Picking up the Tab 2013: Average Citizens and Small Business Owners Pay the Price for Offshore Tax Havens – http://bit.ly/17fz7f6

THE MEDIA INVESTIGATES: The Center for Public Integrity released a report, “Secrecy For Sale,” based on 2.5 million documents unearthed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that show how these secret investment vehicles are exploited by the world’s rich and sneaky. http://bit.ly/XOxn9X

CNN: OFFSHORE TAX SHELTERS FOUND IN LEAKED DOCUMENTS: “The group said the use of tax shelters has implications for the world’s economies, draining countries of the tax resources they need.” http://cnnmon.ie/Y1hTLN

NATIONAL THUNDERCLAP TO LAUNCH TODAY: An online Thunderclap – a tool that amplifies a message by saying it all at once in social media, including Facebook and Twitter – will launch today to help spread online awareness leading into Tax Day. The last Thunderclap performed by the coalition resulted in more than 1.8 million people signing up to post a coordinated message on a single day. View the April 15 Thunderclap here: http://bit.ly/14AtpEG


–Americans for Tax Fairness, a national coalition representing more than 275 national and state groups co-chaired by the Center for American Progress, AFSCME and National People’s Action, is stepping up pressure on Congress to close tax loopholes to make big corporations and the richest 2 percent pay their fair share of taxes by exposing a “CORPORATE TAX DODGER OF THE DAY” leading into April 15 “Tax Day.”

–The fourth corporate tax dodger profiled is Honeywell. The company received a federal income tax subsidy worth $1.7 billion from 2009 to 2012. If Honeywell had paid up we could have for one year:

-Hired 30,676 teachers

-Provided 1,954,023 kids with immunizations

-Enrolled 224,156 kids in Head Start

-Provided Medicaid to 250,923 people

-Hired 36,431 first responders

AS BASEBALL SEASON KICKS OFF – DAILY BASEBALL CARD HITS TO PRESSURE CORPS: A “Corporate Tax Dodger Baseball Card” outlining why Honeywell, and other companies to be profiled over the next two weeks, have been chosen as corporate tax dodgers is available at: AmericansForTaxFairness.org/Baseball or use the short link: http://bit.ly/YQYIaL

SUGGESTED TWEET AND SHORT LINK: Pls RT Tax Dodger of the Day: @HoneywellNow See what we could have today if #Honeywell paid up http://bit.ly/YQYIaL #baseball @4TaxFairness

BY THE NUMBERS – NEARLY 15,000 ONLINE USERS JUMP ON BOARD: The Corporate Tax Dodger of the Day campaign has picked up momentum in the digital space with 14,662 people liking or sharing campaign related posts. CTJ, AFSCME, NPA, and USACTION featured the baseball cards on their pages and via Twitter.


–Alltop LATISM @Alltop_Latism8h @generalelectric See what we could have today if #GE paid up http://bit.ly/YQYIaL #baseball @4TaxFairness #o… http://bit.ly/12m1KU2

–Washington CAN! @WashingtonCAN9h Leading up to tax day @4TaxFairness is releasing corporate dodger #baseball cards. Check them out: http://americansfortaxfairness.org/baseball/ #fairshare. Pls RT

–Tax Fairness PSN @FairTaxPSN9h Tax Dodger of the Day: @generalelectric See what we could have today if #GE paid up http://bit.ly/YQYIaL #baseball @4TaxFairness

–NPA @NPAction10h GE got a $28.9 BIL tax subsidy from 2010-12. Enuf 4 521,491 teachers. Or 619,334 1st responders. Time @4TaxFairness pic.twitter.com/vmwcAjkuQo

JUST THE FACTS: The top facts to know about Honeywell:

–Honeywell had profits of $5 billion from 2009 to 2012, yet it paid just $50 million in federal income taxes.

–Honeywell’s tax rate was just 1% over the last four years – the official corporate tax rate is 35%. This gave Honeywell a huge tax subsidy worth $1.7 billion.

–Honeywell had $11.6 billion in profits socked away offshore at the end of 2012, on which it paid no U.S. taxes.

–While dodging paying its fair share of federal income taxes, Honeywell pocketed $16.7 billion in taxpayer-funded contracts from Uncle Sam between 2006 and 2012. READ MORE: http://bit.ly/YQYIaL

NEW FROM AMERICABLOG: Carnival Cruises pays paltry 0.6% in US taxes – “If Carnival ships are going to have a whopping 90 distress calls over a five year period, costing US taxpayers millions – while Carnival pays next to nothing in US taxes because it doesn’t consider it’s an American company – then Carnival can start paying for its excessive number of rescues, says U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). http://bit.ly/Zb6IiG

THE STAR LEDGER: Corporate tax havens costing N.J. residents – “The use of overseas tax shelters, while legal, costs the United States about $150 billion in tax revenue each year, the report said, citing academic studies of the issue. Of this total, corporations are estimated to avoid a total of $90 billion in taxes each year, while individual taxpayers make up the rest.” http://bit.ly/11tjNsA

LOOKING AHEAD: The AFL-CIO will launch its annual Paywatch report and website highlighting excessive CEO pay at S&P 500 companies on April 15. This year’s site will take a special look at CEOs from the corporate backed “Fix the Debt” group which has worked to protect tax loopholes for corporations and the richest 1 percent. Early reports show that CEOs who are working to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid while protecting tax loopholes are receiving record high salaries and cushy retirement packages. LINK: www.PayWatch.org

RESOURCE FOR YOU (via CTJ): “Who Pays Taxes in America in 2013? Despite claims that the rich pay too much in taxes and that the poor pay little or nothing, the share of total federal, state and local taxes paid by Americans in each income group is very similar to the share of total income received by that group.” http://bit.ly/10n3goL

WHY KEEP UP THE PRESSURE: “President Obama and leaders in Congress from both parties have said that we can close tax loopholes and save hundreds of billions of dollars,” said Frank Clemente, campaign manager, Americans for Tax Fairness. “As a future budget deal gets considered we need to be sure that corporate tax loopholes get closed and that the revenue is used to reduce the deficit and make new investments, not to lower corporate tax rates. That means closing tax loopholes for corporations that ship U.S. profits and jobs overseas.”

FIELD MOBILIZATION: Between now and Tax Day, the Americans for Tax Fairness coalition will mobilize events in over two dozen states under the brand “WHO PAYS” that show how tax breaks for the rich and loopholes for corporations increase burdens on families and states by forcing cuts in important benefits, services and programs we all rely upon. Events will include pressers outside of U.S. Post Offices, community members playing local dodge ball games to highlight tax dodging, media avails outside state Capitols, and events outside U.S. Congressional offices.

BRINGING IT TOGETHER: “It’s time to protect families and communities. Congress must stop tax dodging by closing tax loopholes and ending special breaks for the rich and big corporations. That way, everyone, including CEOs and corporations, will pay their fair share of taxes,” said Margarida Jorge, national field director, Americans for Tax Fairness.

WHY FOCUS ON CORPORATIONS? Millions of working families pay more in taxes some years, or pay a much higher income tax rate, than some of the biggest and most profitable corporations in America pay, including ExxonMobil, General Electric, FedEx, Verizon, Wells Fargo and more. That’s wrong. They haven’t been asked to contribute a dime.


1) Require big corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes, including by stopping companies from shipping jobs and stashing profits overseas to avoid U.S. taxes.

2) End across-the-board “sequester” cuts to the jobs and services we count on.

3) Protect Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security from harmful cuts.

PRESSING THE PRESIDENT: President Obama will release his budget on APRIL 10. The ATF coalition has long pressed for revenue-positive corporate tax reform, yet every signal from the White House is that his plan will propose closing corporate tax loopholes but be revenue-neutral.

WATCHING THE RATES: “Closing tax loopholes is important but what’s not helpful is taking that money and giving it right back to corporations through lower tax rates. The middle class will be stuck with the tab either through higher taxes or massive service cuts,” said Frank Clemente, campaign manager, Americans for Tax Fairness.


FOLLOW ON FACEBOOK: Facebook.com/Americans4TaxFairness

MEDIA CONTACT: Trevor Thomas, Americans for Tax Fairness; 616-430-2030