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Countdown to Tax Day: Day 8, Who Pays?

ALERT: Comprehensive list of events happening on and around April 15 “Tax Day” now included below.

TODAY’S “CORPORATE TAX DODGER OF THE DAY”: Pfizer

–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:

–Pfizer paid no U.S. income taxes from 2010 to 2012 while earning $43 billion worldwide. It did this in part by performing accounting acrobatics to shift its U.S. profits offshore. Instead, it received $2.2 billion in federal tax refunds.

–Pfizer had $73 billion in profits parked offshore at the end of 2012, on which it paid no U.S. income taxes.

–While dodging paying its fair share of federal income taxes, Pfizer pocketed $3.4 billion in taxpayer-funded contracts from Uncle Sam between 2010 and 2012.

–When the U.S. government offered companies a deal of deep tax discounts on offshore profits they brought back home and invested in job creation, Pfizer took the $10 billion in tax savings and within a year laid off 10,000 American workers. READ MORE:http://bit.ly/YQYIaL

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

GROWING 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.

DELAWARE: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – Newark Post Office, 401 Ogletown Rd., Newark, DE, 5:30 p.m. http://bit.ly/11Hca1Q

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.,

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.

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, NC

FLORIDA: April 15 “Who Pays?” event – U.S. Post Office at 1201 Gandy Boulevard North, St. Petersburg, FL, 10 a.m.

NATIONAL THUNDERCLAP SET FOR APRIL 15: 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.org

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.

FOLLOW VIA TWITTER: @4TaxFairness

FOLLOW ON FACEBOOK: Facebook.com/Americans4TaxFairness

MEDIA CONTACT: Trevor Thomas, Americans for Tax Fairness; 616-430-2030