April 11, 2013

Tax Day Countdown: 5 Days, Who Pays?

HAPPENING TODAY: At 11:00 a.m. President Obama is expected to deliver a statement in the Rose Garden of The White House on the release of his budget. At 12:30 p.m. Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Jeffrey Zients will discuss the President’s FY 2014 Budget at a news conference; Alan Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council (NEC), and Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the Domestic Policy Council (DPC), will join to discuss the Budget’s economic assumptions and the President’s plan.RAPID RESPONSE: Americans for Tax Fairness – a national coalition fighting for tax fairness – will release a statement just prior to the President’s remarks related to revenue. Media contact: tthomas@AmericansForTaxFairness.org

COMING TOMORROW: New report by Citizens for Tax Justice – 
As ordinary Americans scramble to meet their tax obligations, a CTJ report to be released Thursday shows ten profitable Fortune 500 companies that paid, as a group, no federal income tax on $16 billion in profits in 2012, and paid zero on $57 billion in profits over the past five years. These major corporations from diverse sectors of the U.S. economy help illustrate that most every industry has loopholes it can leverage. These ten corporations include some usual suspects and some new ones, and come from tech to transport to healthcare. Learn more tomorrow morning at: www.CTJ.org

Verizon–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.”JUST THE FACTS:

–Verizon made $19.3 billion in U.S. pretax profits from 2008 to 2012, yet didn’t pay any federal income taxes during the period. Instead, it got $535 million in tax rebates.

–Verizon’s effective federal income tax rate was negative 2.8% from 2008 to 2012. The official corporate tax rate is 35%. This difference allowed Verizon to avoid $7.3 billion in taxes.

–Verizon had $1.9 billion in accumulated offshore profits in 2012, on which it did not pay U.S. taxes.

–While dodging federal taxes, Verizon pocketed $956 million in federal contracts in 2011 and landed a 9-year contract worth $5 billion.. READ MORE: http://bit.ly/11zWH3z

AS BASEBALL SEASON KICKS OFF – DAILY TRADING CARD HITS TO PRESSURE CORPS: A “Corporate Tax Dodger Baseball Card” outlining why Verizon, and other companies to be profiled over the next two weeks, have been chosen as corporate tax dodgers is available at: AmericansForTaxFairness.org/TradingCards or use the short link: http://bit.ly/11zWH3z

–Bank of America
–General Electric
–READ MORE: http://bit.ly/11zWH3z
NEW VIDEO RELEASED TODAY: How Do Giant Corporations Get Away with “Legal” Tax Cheating? http://youtu.be/ubjGmCIbrjQ(h/t: We’re Not Broke)–VIDEO released on Tuesday: Who Pays for Corporate Tax Dodgers? YOU DO. http://youtu.be/XRNBNzJ42VM
ICYMI: Fact Coalition and We’re Not Broke run full page ad in The Hill – View the ad: http://bit.ly/YKggpv
NATIONAL THUNDERCLAP / JOIN ON TWITTER: 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 lastThunderclap 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

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.
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, NCFLORIDA: 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, TBDWASHINGTON 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 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.