Home / Top Story / Top U.S. companies keep $1.4 trillion in offshore tax havens

Top U.S. companies keep $1.4 trillion in offshore tax havens

AUG. 3, 2012 PHOTODAVID MCFADDEN/AP

The 50 biggest companies in the U.S. are stashing about $ 1.4 trillion in offshore tax havens.

America’s 50 biggest companies are stashing about $ 1.4 trillion in offshore tax havens — massive tax dodging that costs the government $ 111 billion a year, according to a new report.

Tech giant Apple holds the most money overseas, keeping a whopping $ 181 billion in three subsidiaries, data analysis from anti-poverty charity Oxfam showed. General Electric and Microsoft also store more than $ 100 billion each outside of the county.

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The top 50 companies — which include car makers, banks, oil corporations and retail chains — keep the massive stash in an “opaque and secretive network” of more than 1,600 offshore subsidiaries, designed to keep profits that would otherwise face higher tax rates, according to the report, which was released Wednesday.

“Tax dodging practiced by corporations and enabled by federal policymakers contributes to dangerous inequality that is undermining our social fabric and hindering economic growth,” Oxfam declared in the report.

Tech giant Apple holds the most money overseas.Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Tech giant Apple holds the most money overseas.

Among other top tax-dodgers are pharmaceutical company Pfizer, which keeps $ 74 billion offshore, and tech giant IBM, with $ 61 billion overseas. Plenty of household brands — including Walmart, Coca-Cola, American Express, Home Depot and Walt Disney — all keep billions away from U.S. taxes.

General Motors holds $ 7 billion offshores while Ford has set aside more than $ 4 billion. Bank of America, American Express, Wells Fargo and Capital One are keeping $ 17 billion, $ 9.7 billion $ 1.8 billion, $ 1.4 billion respectively overseas.

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The use of tax havens costs the U.S. government about $ 111 billion a year in tax dollars, Oxfam estimated.

Several American retailers, such as Walmart, were also on the list.SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Several American retailers, such as Walmart, were also on the list.

While hoarding their funds in havens, the big 50 companies spent about $ 2.6 billion on lobbying between 2008 and 2014, Oxfam said.

“For every $ 1 spent on lobbying, these 50 companies collectively received $ 130 in tax breaks and more than $ 4,000 in federal loans, loan guarantees and bailouts,” Oxfam reported.

The staggering report comes just days after the Panama Papers, a series of leaked papers, revealed how the world’s wealthiest use offshore bank accounts to hide their assets. The confidential documents name international politicians, businesspeople and celebrities who’ve poured their wealth into secretive, offshore tax havens.

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