Setting up offshore tax haven is so easy an intern can do it

Here’s a gem.

A new video from Public Citizen demonstrates just how easy it is for un-patriotic corporations to set up an offshore tax haven and avoid paying taxes in the US.

An intern at Public Citizen, Jessica, calls a lawyer in Panama about setting up a shell corporation there. The lawyer tells her “Panamanian corporations basically pay no taxes on any foreign derived income.” So if Jessica’s Panamanian corporation makes money in the US, she doesn’t pay any taxes in Panama.

Screeching from conservatives about the supposedly-high corporate tax rate in America has risen to near-deafening levels. Newly-annointed “Young Gun” Paul Ryan made lowering the corporate tax rate to 25% a cornerstone in his “Road to Recovery” plan. Corporate-mouthpiece the Tax Foundation continuously calls for “making the U.S. corporate tax system more competitive internationally.” And of course corporate America’s loyal lapdog, the Heritage Foundation, released yet another gloom-and-doom report stating the “dominant feature of the U.S. corporate tax is that it is quite high by international standards.”

What these corporate lackeys conveniently leave out is the ease by which US corporations avoid paying corporate taxes in the US. According to study by the Government Accountability Office last year, most US corporations avoid paying taxes. Between 1998 and 2005, 57% of US corporations paid no income tax at least once; 42% of companies paid no income tax in two or more years. During that same period, corporate sales totaled $2.5 trillion.

How DO so many of these un-patriotic corporations avoid paying their fair share of taxes? It’s so easy, an intern could do it.

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