"You can't write a law their lawyers can't get around"

Corporations Need Tax Relief

by digby

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If you follow their logic, you will see that corporations are aiming for a zero tax rate. Or should I say blackmailing?

"I think when people hear that all these companies are moving overseas because of taxes, they think that doesn't smell right," Stahl said to Swiss tax attorney Thierry Boitelle.

"Yeah, the question is, 'Does a company have a moral obligation to pay its fair share?'" he replied.

"I think many companies in the U.S. would like to keep the jobs in the U.S. if they could, but they also need to keep their shareholders happy. And they are in the U.S. in a corporate tax nightmare because it's the highest tax rate in the world," Boitelle explained.

There you have it. And in case you are looking for a solution:

"We can't write a law their lawyers can't get around. That's the whole problem here," Doggett explained.

"You're in Congress. Why did Congress write these laws that allowed this to happen?" Stahl asked.

"There's been a lot of arm twisting, a lot of effective lobbying here, and some really smart tax lawyers figuring out how to game the system with one shenanigan after the other," the congressman replied.

"But are they shenanigans or is it the law?" Stahl asked.

"I think it was a shenanigan when some of these companies felt so strongly about America that they renounced their American citizenship and began saluting a foreign flag. They exploited a provision in our tax laws and moved offshore," Doggett said.

Congress tried to put a stop to that with a law passed in 2004, mandating that any company that wanted to move offshore would still have to pay the 35 percent. But because of loopholes in the tax code, companies can substantially lower their taxes by moving chunks of their businesses to their foreign subsidiaries.