Nov 26 2012
Multimillion dollar American corporations are under fire in the UK for allegedly hiding their profits overseas in an attempt to avoid paying taxes on the business they do in Britain. An association of independent booksellers has launched a public campaign against Amazon.com in particular, saying they pay their taxes while the online giant skirts tax laws, reporting its profits through a Luxembourg company. British MPs last week grilled executives from Amazon, as well as Starbucks, and Google over their taxes.
Companies like Amazon are increasingly turning to tax havens like Luxembourg, Ireland, the Cayman Islands, and other nations to divert their profits. For example, Apple paid only 1.9% in taxes over its recent quarterly earnings, using a complex network of offshore accounts to decrease the foreign tax rate it pays. A large and growing number of US corporations avoid paying US taxes using the same means.
Now, a powerful new film called “We’re Not Broke,” by directors Victoria Bruce and Karin Hayes takes the complex world of corporate tax dodging to task to make the case that the US is not actually cash poor – it is simply losing out on billions of tax dollars from corporations that hide their earnings overseas.
In We’re Not Broke, the filmmakers lay bare the type of financial gymnastics US corporations engage in to avoid improving the American economy by paying their fair share of taxes. From esoteric corporate subsidiaries in Bermuda, to the halls of Congress where billions are cut from the social safety net, the film calls for tax fairness in the United States and links up with an activist group called US Uncut and the wider Occupy Wall Street Movement.
Film reviewer John Anderson says in Variety magazine, “Kicking assets and taking names, We’re Not Broke gets in the face of deficit hawks and budget cutters with a well-researched, brightly presented and provocative argument that the U.S. isn’t overtaxed and profligate, but rather a paradise for corporate tax cheats.” We’re Not Broke is now out on DVD.
GUEST: Karin Hayes, co-Director of We’re Not Broke
Visit www.werenotbrokemovie.com to order DVDs of the film.