April 11, 2013

Tax Day Countdown: 4 Days, Who Pays?

NEW REPORT HITTING TODAY: Citizens for Tax Justice reports on ten major, profitable corporations who are not sweating tax day, including nine that have no federal income tax liability for 2012. GE is the tenth, but its 8 percent rate in the one year, 2012, doesn’t let it off the hook for all the other years it led the tax avoiders pack. The corporations were chosen from diverse sectors to show there are few corners of the tax code that haven’t been molded by an industry’s lobby. LINK: http://bit.ly/16SP2gdTHE BOMBSHELL FACT:

“As a group, the ten companies paid no federal income tax on $16 billion in profits in 2012, and they paid zero federal income tax on $57 billion in profits over the past five years. LINK: http://bit.ly/16SP2gd

What: Ways and Means Working Group on Income and Tax Distribution
Who: Co-Chair Lynn Jenkins (KS) / Co-Chair Joe Crowley (NY)
When: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Where: Ways and Means Committee Library (behind 1100 Longworth)
Witnesses:  Small Business Majority with John Arensmeyer and Rhett Buttle; Main Street Alliance with Bill Daley

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING – PELOSI PRESSER TODAY AT 2 P.M. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will hold a press conference tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. in the Capitol Visitor Center.  Questions related to tax reform and the President’s budget are likely.AMERICANS FOR TAX FAIRNESS COALITION ON OBAMA BUDGET:

“We support President Obama’s proposal to raise substantial tax revenues from the wealthiest Americans, make significant improvements to tax credits benefitting students and low-income working families, and close some egregious corporate tax loopholes, including ones that encourage companies to shift U.S. profits and jobs overseas. But we are strongly opposed to the president’s plan to give the money saved from closing corporate tax loopholes right back to corporations by lowering their income tax rate. His plan does not ask America’s biggest companies to contribute a dime to reduce the deficit while it cuts health care and other critical services America’s families rely on. That’s unfair and misguided,” said Frank Clemente, campaign manager, Americans for Tax Fairness.FACT COALITION REACTS TO OBAMA BUDGET:

“Members of the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) coalition – including small business, labor, faith and human rights groups – support closing offshore tax loopholes as a priority in any budget proposal.  However, closing these loopholes in a way that would raise no new revenues, as the President proposes, reflects a step in the wrong direction. While the Administration has continued to propose closing offshore tax loopholes each year, the notion that the revenue raised should be fed back to the same large, multinational corporations flies in the face of the interests of voters, small businesses and common sense,” said Nicole Tichon, who directs the FACT coalition and Tax Justice Network USA.TODAY’S “CORPORATE TAX DODGER OF THE DAY”:

Merck–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.”


–Merck had profits of $13.6 billion and paid $2.5 billion in federal income taxes from 2009 to 2012. Merck’s tax rate was 18.4% over the last four years – the official corporate tax rate is 35%. This gave the drug giant a huge tax subsidy worth $2.2 billion.

–Merck had $53.4 billion in profits socked away offshore at the end of 2012 on which it paid no U.S. taxes.

–While dodging its fair share of federal income taxes, Merck pocketed $8.7 billion in taxpayer-funded contracts from Uncle Sam between 2006 and 2012.

–Merck spent $9.5 million lobbying Congress in 2012 and taxes were its second-highest priority. READ MORE:http://bit.ly/11zWH3z

DAILY TRADING CARD HITS TO PRESSURE CORPS: A “Corporate Tax Dodger Trading Card” outlining why Merck, and other companies to be profiled till Tax Day, have been chosen as corporate tax dodgers is available at: AmericansForTaxFairness.org/TradingCards or use the short link: http://bit.ly/11zWH3z

SMALL BUSINESSES RESPOND TO OBAMA BUDGET: Statement by John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority: “The president’s 2014 budget blueprint includes key provisions small businesses support and have long been asking for, such as closing tax loopholes that benefit the wealthy and large corporations, reducing corporate tax rates in a revenue-neutral manner, offering tax credits for small business hiring, and creating manufacturing, infrastructure and clean energy initiatives that can provide small businesses with economic opportunities and encourage job growth.”
NEW VIDEO RELEASED TODAY: How Do Billion-Dollar Corporations Cheat America Out of Tax Revenue?http://youtu.be/miO8cuIhYrs (h/t: We’re Not Broke)–VIDEO released on Tuesday: Who Pays for Corporate Tax Dodgers? YOU DO. http://youtu.be/XRNBNzJ42VM

–VIDEO released Wednesday: How Do Giant Corporations Get Away with “Legal” Tax Cheating? http://youtu.be/ubjGmCIbrjQ
ICYMI: Fact Coalition and We’re Not Broke run full page ad in The Hill – View the ad: http://bit.ly/YKggpv
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.orgGOING VIRAL: Tax Havens 101 VIDEO: The high cost of going offshore http://wapo.st/16COQBH

GROWING LIST OF EVENTS: A growing list is below 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.

FIELD MOBILIZATION PLAN: 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.

HAPPENING NOW NATIONWIDE: The Light Brigade will spotlight “Tax Evaders” all week via distributed illuminated actions leading up to Tax Day where they shine a light on corporate Tax Evaders – http://taxevaders.tumblr.com/plan
DELAWARE: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – Newark Post Office, 401 Ogletown Rd., Newark, DE, 5:30 p.m. http://bit.ly/11Hca1Q
INDIANA: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – Teamster’s Hall, 23383 U.S.Rte. 33, Dunlap, IN, 6 p.m.
IOWA: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – Waterloo Post Office, 300 Sycamore St., Waterloo, IA, 4:30 p.m.MAINE: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – Location Pending, Lewiston, ME, 3 p.m.

MICHIGAN: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – Grand Rapids Post Office 9 a.m., Battle Creek Post Office 12 p.m., Lansing Post Office 2:15 p.m., Royal Oak Post Office 5:00 p.m.

MISSOURI: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – Columbia Post Office, 511 E Walnut, Columbia, MO

MONTANA: April 12 “Who Pays?” event – Location Pending, Missoula, MT

NEW YORK: April 14 Flip The Debt event – Goldman Sachs HQ, New York City, 3 p.m.

NEW YORK: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – Location Pending, Long Island.NEW YORK: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – Federal Building, 100 State Street, Rochester, NY, 12 p.m.

OHIO: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – Carnegie Ave. b/t E. 9th and Ontario Streets, Cleveland, OH, 4:30 p.m.
WEST VIRGINIA: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – Governor’s conference room, State Capitol, Charleston, WV
VIRGINIA: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – U.S. Forbes District Office, 505 Independence Pkwy, Chesapeake, VA, 1 p.m.NORTH CAROLINA: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – State Capitol Lawn, Raleigh, NC

FLORIDA: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – U.S. Post Office at 1201 Gandy Boulevard North, St. Petersburg, FL, 10 a.m.

WASHINGTON STATE: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – Sen. Hobbs District Office, Olympia, WA, 10 a.m.WASHINGTON STATE: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – Sen. Hobbs District Office, Lake Stevens, WA, TBD

WASHINGTON STATE: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – U.S. Sen. Cantwell’s District Office, Seattle, WA, TBD

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/10n3goLREPORT 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.” 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

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.


FOLLOW ON FACEBOOK: Facebook.com/Americans4TaxFairness

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