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Print 26 comment(s) - last by Just Tom.. on Feb 19 at 12:33 PM

Firms want to bring foreign money home at discounted tax rate

The economy in the U.S. has been rough on many companies over the last few years. Many of the major U.S. tech companies have huge amounts of money sitting in overseas accounts that they argue could be used to fund hiring and other programs at home.

The catch is that the tax rate on bringing that foreign money home is a blistering 35% according to CNN Money. These companies are backing a major lobbying campaign to get lawmakers in Washington to give them a tax holiday that would allow the foreign money reserves to be brought home at a massive savings on tax day. The major companies are lobbying for a tax rate on the money in the area of 5%.

The lobbying push is still in the planning stages, but so far major tech firms Oracle, Cisco, and Apple are backing the efforts. Other major companies include Duke Energy and Pfizer. Between these firms, they have an estimated $1 trillion squirreled away in foreign accounts.

The lobby effort hopes to win that steeply discounted 5% tax holiday for backers for a full year. The goal is to get the tax holiday included in the reform package. If the overall reform package fails in Congress, CNN Money reports that the firms will attempt to push their tax holiday agenda separately.

The fight for the tax holiday is going to be hard on the companies and the lobbyists. Congress approved a similar tax holiday in 2004 as part of a package to promote new jobs in the U.S. and many of the companies that took advantage of the holiday to bring foreign money home instead used the money as dividends for shareholders. A study that looked at the holiday conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that for each dollar of cash brought home in that holiday the companies bumped shareholder payouts in the area of 60 to 92 cents.

Kristin Forbes, co-author of the study, said, "A tax holiday would bring a substantial amount of cash back to the United States and paying that out to shareholders is good for the economy. But if you're a politician claiming this will create a lot of jobs or new investment, it isn't supported by the data."

This time around the companies aren’t hiding the fact that some of the loot brought home would be handed directly to shareholders. However, the companies are also claim that the tax holiday would allow them to boost markets and increase consumer confidence and the tax revenue from bringing the funds home could allow as much as $50 billion in credits to encourage new hiring.



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By Just Tom on 2/19/2011 12:33:30 PM , Rating: 2
Rika,
Putting money into the economy only fuels inflation it does not create wealth. Running surpluses and paying down the debt would free investment money to be spent on the productive sectors of the economy. Government does not produce wealth, the best it can do is create an environment conducive to wealth creation.


"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain











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