Small Business Leaders Spotlight High Cost of Corporate Tax Dodging

Contact: Bob Keener, bobkeener@businessforsharedprosperity.org, (617) 610-6766

New U.S. PIRG Report Highlights Negative Impact of Tax Haven Abuse on Small Businesses, Ordinary Taxpayers

Washington, DC, April 12, 2012 – Today, Representative Chris Van Hollen, Business for Shared Prosperity (BSP), the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) and the Main Street Alliance (MSA) joined U.S. PIRG in unveiling its new report, “Picking Up the Tab: Average Citizens and Small Businesses Pay the Price for Offshore Tax Havens.”

“U.S. multinational corporations should not be rewarded for hurting our Main Street economy by shielding money in tax haven countries, moving jobs offshore and using tricky accounting maneuvers to avoid paying taxes,” said Joseph Rotella, owner of Spencer Organ Company in Waltham, Mass. and a member of Business for Shared Prosperity. “Taxes are not just numbers in spreadsheets. They provide the revenues that pay for public safety, public schools, public transportation and other infrastructure and services that businesses and customers rely on. We need to stop the tax haven abuse that lets big corporations avoid paying their fair share and gives them an unfair advantage in the marketplace.”

The U.S. PIRG report illustrates the high cost of corporate tax avoidance by using data from the Census Bureau and U.S. Senate to calculate the amount small businesses would need to pay if they were to compensate for the annual $60 billion in tax revenue lost because of corporate tax dodging through offshore tax havens. According to the report, small businesses with fewer than 100 employees would have to pay on average an additional $2,116 in taxes to make up for the large shortfall in revenues.

A recent national, independent survey also revealed that 91 percent of small business owners agreed that U.S. multinational corporations’ use of accounting loopholes to avoid taxes by shifting profits offshore is a problem. Moreover, three out of four owners said loopholes allowing big corporations to avoid taxes harmed their small business.

“America’s corporate profits as a share of our nation’s economy are at a 50-year high, yet at the same time corporate taxes as a share of our economy are at a 50-year low,” said Scott Klinger, director of tax policy for BSP and ASBC. “Big business tax avoidance has increased the pressure for deep budget cutbacks, draining our nation of the strategic investments needed to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and support the education, research and development underpinning economic success.”

BSP, ASBC and MSA have sponsored a petition calling for strong legislation to stop tax haven abuse, signed by more than 1,100 business owners and leaders to date. Specifically, the organizations have endorsed the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act and the CUT Loopholes Act, legislation sponsored by Senator Carl Levin to rein in tax haven abuse and recover lost revenues.

Read the U.S. PIRG report here: http://uspirg.org/reports/usp/picking-tab

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Business for Shared Prosperity is a network of forward thinking business owners, executives and investors. BSP has organized petitions for positive tax reform and for ending tax haven abuse and produced related reports. BSP is a member of the American Sustainable Business Council. www.businessforsharedprosperity.org

The American Sustainable Business Council is a growing coalition of business networks representing over 100,000 companies and 200,000 business leaders. ASBC advocates for public policies that meet the realities of the 21st century global economy. www.asbcouncil.org