A new report by the anti-poverty charity Oxfam has analysed disclosed information from corporate finance, lobbying and investments and found that the 50 largest US corporations have up to $1.4 trillion stored in 1,600 known offshore subsidiaries companies.

The report found that between 2008 and 2014 45 of these companies used offshore companies to lower their overall tax rate from 35% in the US to an average of 26.5%, with only 5 companies on the list paying the full 35%. By doing so these companies were able to retain $111 billion dollars that would have otherwise been paid in US taxes, additionally, they took roughly $100 from poorer countries by using the exact same methods.

A chart compiled by Oxfam as part of the report shows the relevant information on the 50 companies which were studied. The top three US companies in terms of total USD stored in offshore companies are; Apple with $181 billion, General Electric with $119 billion and Microsoft at $109 billion.

These 50 companies spent almost $2.8 billion between 2008 and 2014 on US federal lobbying efforts and received $11.2 trillion in bailouts, federal loans and loan guarantees. According to the report they did so in order “to shape the broken system in their favor”, Oxfam is also urging the US government to adopt a bill known as the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act (S. 174/H.R.297) which would increase transparency.

The systematic abuse and dodging of government tax systems has dramatically exacerbated the global wealth inequality. In 2010 the combined wealth of the bottom 3.6 billion people was equivalent to the richest 388, 5 years later the same amount of wealth was concentrated in only 62 people.

 

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