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Countdown to Tax Day: 6 Days, Who Pays?

HAPPENING THIS MORNING: TODAY at 10:30am ET, the American Sustainable Business Council and Main Street Alliance will release results of new scientific polling of small business owners’ views on corporate tax reform. For the first time, survey data shows specifically which policies small business owners favor for addressing overseas tax shelters and loopholes. Dial: 1-267-507-0240 / Passcode: 270 699

GOING VIRAL – VIA THE WASHINGTON POST: 
Tax Havens 101 VIDEO: The high cost of going offshore http://wapo.st/16COQBHTODAY’S “CORPORATE TAX DODGER OF THE DAY”:Bank of America

–Americans for Tax Fairness, a national coalition representing more than 275 national and state groups co-chaired by the Center for American Progress, AFSCME and National People’s Action, is stepping up pressure on Congress to close tax loopholes to make big corporations and the richest 2 percent pay their fair share of taxes by exposing a “CORPORATE TAX DODGER OF THE DAY” leading into April 15 “Tax Day.”

JUST THE FACTS:

–Bank of America reported $17.2 billion in accumulated offshore profits in 2012. It would owe $4.3 billion in U.S. taxes if these funds were brought back to the U.S.

–Bank of America avoids federal income taxes by running its business through more than 300 offshore tax-haven subsidiaries.

–Bank of America paid $2.7 billion to settle abusive lending charges last year. It saved more than $1 billion on its 2012 tax bill by deducting the costs of those settlements.

–Bank of America has reduced its tax liability to zero, by deducting the same losses that taxpayers already bailed them out of once before. READ MORE: http://bit.ly/11zWH3z

AS BASEBALL SEASON KICKS OFF – DAILY TRADING CARD HITS TO PRESSURE CORPS: A “Corporate Tax Dodger Baseball Card” outlining why Bank of America, and other companies to be profiled over the next two weeks, have been chosen as corporate tax dodgers is available at: AmericansForTaxFairness.org/TradingCards or use the short link: http://bit.ly/11zWH3z

NEW VIDEO RELEASED TODAY: Who Pays for Corporate Tax Dodgers? YOU DO. http://youtu.be/XRNBNzJ42VM (h/t: We’re Not Broke)
NATIONAL THUNDERCLAP / JOIN ON TWITTER: An online Thunderclap – a tool that amplifies a message by saying it all at once in social media, including Facebook and Twitter – will launch today to help spread online awareness leading into Tax Day. The lastThunderclap performed by the coalition resulted in more than 1.8 million people signing up to post a coordinated message on a single day. View the April 15 Thunderclap here: http://bit.ly/14AtpEG

LOOKING AHEAD: The AFL-CIO will launch its annual Paywatch report and website highlighting excessive CEO pay at S&P 500 companies on April 15.  This year’s site will take a special look at CEOs from the corporate backed “Fix the Debt” group which has worked to protect tax loopholes for corporations and the richest 1 percent.  Early reports show that CEOs who are working to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid while protecting tax loopholes are receiving record high salaries and cushy retirement packages.  LINK:  www.PayWatch.orgHUFF POST – REMEMBERING THATCHER: “Margaret Thatcher may be best known in the U.S. for her intellectual and personal ties to Ronald Reagan. But despite her ideological closeness with the Republican hero, many in the current GOP establishment have distanced themselves from one of her policies: raising taxes.”  http://huff.to/Zdl9nyGROWING LIST OF EVENTS: A growing list is below of all events and happenings as hundreds of groups team up across the country to unite and engage the public under the brand “WHO PAYS” – a focus on tax breaks for the rich and loopholes for corporations that increase burdens on our families.

HAPPENING NOW NATIONWIDE: The Light Brigade will spotlight “Tax Evaders” all week via distributed illuminated actions leading up to Tax Day where they shine a light on corporate Tax Evaders – http://taxevaders.tumblr.com/plan
DELAWARE: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – Newark Post Office, 401 Ogletown Rd., Newark, DE, 5:30 p.m. http://bit.ly/11Hca1Q
INDIANA: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – Teamster’s Hall, 23383 U.S.Rte. 33, Dunlap, IN, 6 p.m.
MAINE: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – Location Pending, Lewiston, ME, 3 p.m.MICHIGAN: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – Grand Rapids Post Office 9 a.m., Battle Creek Post Office 12 p.m., Lansing Post Office 2:15 p.m., Royal Oak Post Office 5:00 p.m.MISSOURI: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – Columbia Post Office, 511 E Walnut, Columbia, MO

MONTANA: April 12 “Who Pays?” event – Location Pending, Missoula, MT

NEW YORK: April 14 Flip The Debt event – Goldman Sachs HQ, New York City, 3 p.m.

NEW YORK: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – Location Pending, Long Island.
OHIO: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – Carnegie Ave. b/t E. 9th and Ontario Streets, Cleveland, OH, 4:30 p.m.
WEST VIRGINIA: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – Governor’s conference room, State Capitol, Charleston, WV
VIRGINIA: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – U.S. Forbes District Office, 505 Independence Pkwy, Chesapeake, VA, 1 p.m.NORTH CAROLINA: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – State Capitol Lawn, Raleigh, NCFLORIDA: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – U.S. Post Office at 1201 Gandy Boulevard North, St. Petersburg, FL, 10 a.m.

RESOURCE FOR YOU (via CTJ): “Who Pays Taxes in America in 2013? Despite claims that the rich pay too much in taxes and that the poor pay little or nothing, the share of total federal, state and local taxes paid by Americans in each income group is very similar to the share of total income received by that group.” http://bit.ly/10n3goL

REPORT ON TAX HAVENS PROVES REAL IMPACT: Offshore Tax Havens Cost Average Taxpayer $1,026 a Year, Small Businesses $3,067, according to the Public Interest Research Group.

–“Tax dodging is not a victimless offense. When companies use accounting gimmicks to move their profits to tax haven shell companies, the rest of us have to pick up the tab,” said Dan Smith, Tax and Budget Advocate for U.S. PIRG and report co-author. “With the nation facing such serious budget challenges, it’s a no-brainer that we need to close these loopholes and stop letting large corporations avoid paying what they should.” http://bit.ly/17fz7f6

THE MEDIA INVESTIGATES: The Center for Public Integrity released a report, “Secrecy For Sale,” based on 2.5 million documents unearthed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that show how these secret investment vehicles are exploited by the world’s rich and sneaky. http://bit.ly/XOxn9X

WHY KEEP UP THE PRESSURE: “President Obama and leaders in Congress from both parties have said that we can close tax loopholes and save hundreds of billions of dollars,” said Frank Clemente, campaign manager, Americans for Tax Fairness. “As a future budget deal gets considered we need to be sure that corporate tax loopholes get closed and that the revenue is used to reduce the deficit and make new investments, not to lower corporate tax rates. That means closing tax loopholes for corporations that ship U.S. profits and jobs overseas.”

FIELD MOBILIZATION: Between now and Tax Day, the Americans for Tax Fairness coalition will mobilize events in over two dozen states under the brand “WHO PAYS” that show how tax breaks for the rich and loopholes for corporations increase burdens on families and states by forcing cuts in important benefits, services and programs we all rely upon. Events will include pressers outside of U.S. Post Offices, community members playing local dodge ball games to highlight tax dodging, media avails outside state Capitols, and events outside U.S. Congressional offices.

BRINGING IT TOGETHER: “It’s time to protect families and communities. Congress must stop tax dodging by closing tax loopholes and ending special breaks for the rich and big corporations. That way, everyone, including CEOs and corporations, will pay their fair share of taxes,” said Margarida Jorge, national field director, Americans for Tax Fairness.

WHY FOCUS ON CORPORATIONS? Millions of working families pay more in taxes some years, or pay a much higher income tax rate, than some of the biggest and most profitable corporations in America pay, including ExxonMobil, General Electric, FedEx, Verizon, Wells Fargo and more. That’s wrong. They haven’t been asked to contribute a dime.

ULTIMATE GOALS OF NATIONAL CAMPAIGN LEADING INTO TAX DAY: 

1) Require big corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes, including by stopping companies from shipping jobs and stashing profits overseas to avoid U.S. taxes.
2) End across-the-board “sequester” cuts to the jobs and services we count on.
3) Protect Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security from harmful cuts.

PRESSING THE PRESIDENT: President Obama will release his budget on APRIL 10. The ATF coalition has long pressed for revenue-positive corporate tax reform, yet every signal from the White House is that his plan will propose closing corporate tax loopholes but be revenue-neutral.

WATCHING THE RATES: “Closing tax loopholes is important but what’s not helpful is taking that money and giving it right back to corporations through lower tax rates. The middle class will be stuck with the tab either through higher taxes or massive service cuts,” said Frank Clemente, campaign manager, Americans for Tax Fairness.