Tax Extenders = Tax Loopholes

lobbyistsSome of America’s biggest corporations and Wall Street banks make billions of dollars in profits every year, and pay a lower tax rate than families and small businesses. This year Congress is debating whether to renew 55 tax breaks — known as “tax extenders” — worth up to $700 billion over 10 years, which primarily benefit corporations like General Electric, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. Two major loopholes — the Active Financing Exception and the CFC look-through rule — both help corporations shift U.S. profits offshore to tax havens. They cost Americans $80 billion in lost tax revenue over 10 years. That’s money we should be using to rebuild our schools, improve health care, invest in new infrastructure and create jobs. It’s not just big corporations that benefit from the tax extenders. Hollywood filmmakers and thoroughbred racehorse owners get tax breaks, too. But not all of the tax breaks are bad. Some provide deductions for teachers who buy classroom supplies or for homeowners with upside-down mortgages. When it comes to tax extenders, Congress needs to do two things:

  • Stop giving tax breaks to corporations that move profits and jobs offshore, starting with eliminating the Active Financing Exception and the CFC look-through rule.
  • Pay for other corporate tax extenders by closing other corporate tax loopholes.

If Congress requires emergency unemployment benefits to be paid for, the least it should do is require corporate tax breaks to be paid for.

Report: Corporate Tax Lobbying

GEReportthumb3Check out the groundbreaking report that Americans for Tax Fairness and Public Campaign co-authored on corporate tax lobbying, entitled Corporate Lobbying on Tax Extenders and the “GE Loophole.” The report focuses on a set of 55 tax breaks — known as “tax extenders” — that are renewed by Congress year after year with little thought or debate.

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