A study says the 500 largest U.S. companies would owe an estimated $620 billion in taxes if they were to repatriate their funds. Fred Katayama reports.
The U.S. could be $620 billion richer. That's what a study estimates America's 500 largest companies would owe in U.S. taxes if they were to send back the more than $2 billion in profit they hold offshore. The report was issued by two left-leaning non-profit groups, the Center for Tax Justice and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund. Topping the list, according to the study: Apple. The iPhone maker booked more than $180 billion offshore. It would owe the U.S. nearly $60 billion in taxes were it to repatriate those earnings. It says General Electric has $119 billion and Microsoft $108 billion parked in offshore tax havens. GE said, "We reinvest our foreign earnings outside the U.S. because we are in more than 175 countries and we need to be able to fund our non-U.S. business operations, which ultimately help create jobs at home." Cisco Systems, whose ex-CEO John Chambers rails about the U.S. tax system and calls for a tax holiday on repatriated funds, has nearly $53 billion offshore. The study calls on Congress to take "strong action" to prevent companies from using offshore tax havens, saying that would among other things, help cut the deficit and restore fairness to the tax system.