Business Organizations and Owners Endorse Ending Corporate Tax Haven Abuse

For Immediate Release: 
April 12, 2011

More than 800 U.S. Business Organizations and Owners Endorse Ending Corporate Tax Haven Abuse

Washington, DC. April 13, 2011 — Amid fierce federal budget debates, and press reports about large companies such as General Electric paying no US income taxes, more than 800 business organizations and business people are publicly calling on Congress and the President to stop corporate tax haven abuse. They say that tax dodging deprives our nation of revenue needed for a strong economy.

They have signed a statement from a coalition of business organizations, Business and Investors Against Tax Haven Abuse. The statement says in part, “Offshore tax havens reward tax evaders, rob public coffers of needed revenue and offload taxes to responsible businesses and households.”

"Small businesses are the lifeblood of local economies. We pay our fair share of taxes, shop locally, support our schools and actually generate most of the new jobs. So why do we have to subsidize the U.S. multinationals that use offshore tax havens to avoid paying taxes?” said Frank Knapp, President and CEO of The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce. “We need to end tax havens and use that revenue to invest in growing our small businesses. That is how we create a healthy economy."

Our current upside down corporate tax system forces a U.S. manufacturer or insurance company, community-oriented bank, retailer, or local technology firm to compete against another company based not on product quality and services, but on accounting gymnastics. As the chairman and CEO of a U.S. technology company, I believe it is myopic tax policy to force domestic enterprises to compete on an unlevel playing field against companies that use offshore tax havens to relocate profits,” said Paul Egerman, CEO and Chairman, eScription, Boston, MA.

David Levine, CEO of The American Sustainable Business Council, which represents more than 70,000 businesses in the U.S., said, “We represent a wide range of businesses that are being forced to compete against U.S. multinationals that use tax havens as profit centers. This enables them to drive small and mid-sized and other beneficial companies out of business. If that’s not anti-business, I don’t know what is. Let’s reclaim those dollars and use them to build our U.S. businesses and economy”

Ben Kyriagis, President of Small Business Minnesota and President of World Trade Network in Minneapolis, MN, said, "If a US citizen was using foreign bank accounts and tax havensoverseas to evade US taxes, he could go to prison. Yet hundreds of large U.S. corporations do exactly that every day and also claim to have the same rights as citizens. If they have the same rights as citizens they should also be subject to the same laws as all US citizens."

Debra Ruh, Founder and CEO of TecAccess of Rockville, VA, said, "As a small business person, I'm incensed that other companies in our country are able to game the system and force the rest of us to take up the slack. When they avoid their normal tax obligations, that puts more of a burden on responsible and sustainable businesses like mine."

Business and Investors Against Tax Haven Abuse supports policies that end tax avoidance and evasion through offshore tax havens. The petition is cosponsored by Business for Shared Prosperity, Wealth for the Common Good and the American Sustainable Business Council.

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Note to editors: Business leaders and owner/operators are available for comment.

 

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