Big US firms hold $2.1 trillion overseas to avoid taxes: study

Apple Avoided Paying Taxes On $102 Billion In Profits Stashed Offshore

The 500 largest American companies hold more than $2.1 trillion in accumulated profits offshore to avoid U.S. taxes and would collectively owe an estimated $620 billion in U.S. taxes if they repatriated the funds, according to a study released on Tuesday.

The study, by two left-leaning non-profit groups, found that nearly three-quarters of the firms on the Fortune 500 list of biggest American companies by gross revenue operate tax haven subsidiaries in countries like Bermuda, Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

The Citizens for Tax Justice and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund used the companies' own financial filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission to reach their conclusions.

Technology firm Apple (AAPL.O) was holding $181.1 billion offshore, more than any other U.S. company, and would owe an estimated $59.2 billion in U.S. taxes if it tried to bring the money back to the United States from its three overseas tax havens, the study said.

More on Apple:

Fifty-seven of the companies disclosed that they would expect to pay a combined $184.4 billion in additional U.S. taxes if their profits were not held offshore. Their filings indicated they were paying about 6 percent in taxes overseas, compared to a 35 percent U.S. corporate tax rate, it said.

"Congress can and should take strong action to prevent corporations from using offshore tax havens, which in turn would restore basic fairness to the tax system, reduce the deficit and improve the functioning of markets," the study concluded.

(Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Eric Beech)

RELATED: Why the rich keep money overseas

Why the Rich Stash Money Offshore

Birth of a Child

The birth of a child is not just a blessed event; it's the beginning of a whole new set of tax breaks for your family. Learn how the newest addition to your family can help trim your tax bill, and how to save for your child's future in the most tax-efficient manner.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

What is Form 8332: Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent

Having custody of your child usually means you can claim that child as a dependent on your taxes. But if you don't have to file a tax return, or you reach an agreement with your child's noncustodial parent, you can let them take the child as a dependent instead with Form 8332.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

How Does Your Charitable Giving Measure Up?

Giving is truly better than receiving, especially when your generosity can provide income tax benefits.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

Real Estate Tax Tips: Owning Property as a Tenancy in Common

"Tenancy in common" (or TIC) refers to a situation in which ownership of a piece of property is divided among multiple people. When the owners of a piece of real estate have a tenancy in common, it can create a number of complications related to taxes.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com
Read Full Story