Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Washington, D.C. – Americans for Tax Fairness has challenged the B Corporation status of Brooklyn-based Etsy, Inc., following the online craft seller’s restructuring of a subsidiary in Ireland, a tax haven, to dodge U.S. taxes.
Defining “Why B Corps Matter,” B Lab, the non-profit that oversees B Corp certification states: “By voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability and performance, Certified B Corps are distinguishing themselves in a cluttered marketplace by offering a positive vision of a better way to do business.”
“B Lab has the opportunity to make a clear statement that tax dodgers do not deserve B Corp status,” said American for Tax Fairness Executive Director Frank Clemente.
In a letter to B Lab, ATF asked the non-profit to “make Etsy’s designation contingent on its elimination of the use of its subsidiary in Ireland to dodge taxes.”
Etsy must be recertified by B Lab in order to maintain B Corp status after the company made its initial public offering in April.
Despite touting itself as a B Corp, Etsy recently changed the structure of its subsidiary in Ireland, a tax haven, so that it doesn’t have to publicly report certain financial data, making it easier to avoid taxes. In using the Emerald Isle to dodge paying its fair share of taxes, Etsy joins other infamous offshore corporate tax-avoiders like Apple, Google and Microsoft.
In the letter to B Lab, Clemente wrote: “B Corp status is an important standard that a lot of consumers use when making decisions about which companies to buy products and services from. It is important that this standard not be weakened by a previously certified B Corp that has changed its behavior and is now using unethical business practices. …
“Etsy is now one of those corporations ducking out on its obligations to the nation that made its success possible. When corporations do not contribute their fair share of taxes, other businesses and individual taxpayers have to make up the difference.”
For full text of the letter, click here.
Americans for Tax Fairness is a diverse coalition of 425 national and state endorsing organizations that collectively represent tens of millions of members. The organization was formed on the belief that the country needs comprehensive, progressive tax reform that results in greater revenue to meet our growing needs. ATF is playing a central role in Washington and in the states on federal tax-reform issues.
Ron Eckstein, Communications Director, Americans for Tax Fairness
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