US corporations skip taxes in new 'exceptionalism': Washington Post

Getty Images

Not paying corporate taxes—while still being able to retain the perks of being a U.S. corporation—has become the new black.

In a weekend edition of the Washington Post, Forbes editor Allan Sloan says big companies benefit from a "new kind of American corporate exceptionalism: companies that have deserted our country to avoid paying taxes but expect to keep receiving the full benefits that being American confers, and for which everyone else is paying."

Sloan wrote in a lengthy Op-Ed that companies are benefiting from "inversion," a process by which a company re-incorporates in a tax-haven country with low corporate taxes, such as Ireland. The Emerald Isle offers the lowest corporate tax rate in Europe, which is a draw for both European and U.S. companies.

The surge in shell-game tax aversion efforts "threatens to undermine our tax base, with projected losses in the billions," Sloane wrote. "It also threatens to undermine the American public's already shrinking respect for big corporations."

Some 60 U.S. mega-companies are guilty of ducking out on domestic taxes, Sloane said. Among the guiltiest parties are Accenture, Pfizer, Michael Kors, Carnival, Nielsen and Medtronic. The latter has reaped nearly $500 million in U.S. federal government contracts over the last five years–yet has proposed to move its headquarters to Ireland by using a complex tax strategy.

For more information on this story, please click here.