April 4, 2013

Countdown to Tax Day: Day 13, Who Pays


–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 second corporate tax dodger profiled is FedEx. The company received a federal income tax subsidy worth $2.1 billion from 2010 to 2012. If FedEx had paid paid up we could have for one year:

-Hired 37,894 teachers

-Provide 2,413,793 kids with immunizations

-Enrolled 276,899 kids in Head Start

-Provided Medicaid to 309,963 people

-Hired 45,004 first responders

AS BASEBALL SEASON KICKS OFF – DAILY BASEBALL CARD HITS TO PRESSURE CORPS: A “Corporate Tax Dodger Baseball Card” outlining why FedEx, 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: @FedEx See what we could have today if #FedEx paid up http://bit.ly/YQYIaL #baseball @4TaxFairness

ICYMI DAILY SHOW TWEETS ON TAXES: @TheDailyShow Republicans want to give corporations a tax break from the nothing that they pay now. http://bit.ly/glg35e

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

NEW REPORT BY 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. LINK: http://bit.ly/10n3goL

ADDRESSING THE MYTHS: ”It is sometimes claimed that many low- and middle-income Americans don’t pay taxes while the richest Americans pay a hugely disproportionate share of taxes… Everyone in America pays taxes. Everyone who works pays federal payroll taxes. Everyone who buys gasoline pays federal and state gas taxes. People who shop in stores pay the sales taxes that most state and local governments impose. State and local property taxes affect everyone who owns or rents a home,” the report confirmed.

FLASHBACK FACT: This report is an updated version of the 2012 report that was widely cited in response to Romney’s claim that 47% of Americans don’t pay taxes because it shows, clearly, that all Americans pay taxes. (h/t: Anne Singer)

THURSDAY REMINDER: U.S. Senator CARL LEVIN will headline a national media conference call on THURSDAY, APRIL 4, at 11 a.m. ET with consumer and small business leaders as U.S. PIRG releases a new report highlighting the cost of corporate tax dodging to U.S. taxpayers and small businesses.

“Many of America’s wealthiest individuals and largest corporations use tax loopholes to shift profits made in America to offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands, where they pay little to no taxes. We believe that’s not right and this report will be a tool to keep up the pressure on Congress,” said Dan Smith, Tax and Budget Advocate and report co-author, U.S. PIRG. / Dial-in April 4: 1.800.868.1837 / Code: 181478#

EXXON EXPOSED IN TAX LOOPHOLE: (via Think Progress) “A technicality has spared Exxon from having to pay any money into the fund that will be covering most of the clean up costs of its Arkansas pipeline spill. …Exxon has confirmed that the pipeline was carrying ‘low-quality Wabasca Heavy crude oil from Alberta.’ A 1980 law ensures that diluted bitumen is not classified as oil, and companies transporting it in pipelines do not have to pay into the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.” LINK: http://bit.ly/XbHmVv

DODGING TAXES IS “PART OF THE GAME” IN INDIA: (via Associated Press) “India’s Finance Minister stunned the country in February when he proposed a new tax on top earners. The surprise wasn’t the temporary 10 percent surcharge on those earning more than about $185,000 per year, but the number of Indians who fell into that category: Just 42,800. In a country of 1.2 billion people, that’s far less than one ten-thousandth of the population admitting they are in the top tax bracket. Among the rich, dodging taxes is second nature. About 158,000 Indians are thought to be millionaires, though some analysts think the number is far higher.” http://wapo.st/16jJMSD

JUST POSTED: HUFF POST OP-ED: Here Are The Effective Tax Rates Of 17 Companies Pressuring Congress To Cut Corporate Tax Rates LINK: http://bit.ly/10vndsj (h/t: CTJ)

SAN FRAN CHRONICLE OP-ED: Road to tax havens is paved with potholes, by Dietlind Lerner (h/t: Nicole Tichon)

–“Despite the obvious damage to society, shifting profits offshore is, in most cases, perfectly legal. In fact, tax haven use by big companies is so common that a 2008 Government Accountability Office Report found 83 of the Fortune 100 companies in the United States had subsidiaries in offshore tax havens.” LINK: http://bit.ly/10wnM3E

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.

COMING SOON: A full list of all events happening in the field.

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