The report singled out British overseas territories such as Bermuda for their popularity with US firms seeking to slash their tax bill by ‘profit-shifting’. Photograph: Alamy
Charity analysis of the 50 biggest US businesses claims Apple have $181bn held offshore, while General Electric has $119bn and Microsoft $108bn
Thursday 14 April 2016 00.01 EDT Last modified on Thursday 14 April 2016 03.53 EDT
US corporate giants such as Apple, Walmart and General Electric have stashed $1.4tn (£980bn) in tax havens, despite receiving trillions of dollars in taxpayer support, according to a report by anti-poverty charity Oxfam.
The sum, larger than the economic output of Russia, South Korea and Spain, is held in an “opaque and secretive network” of 1,608 subsidiaries based offshore, said Oxfam.
The charity’s analysis of the financial affairs of the 50 biggest US corporations comes amid intense scrutiny of tax havens following the leak of the Panama Papers.
And the charity said its report, entitled Broken at the Top was a further illustration of “massive systematic abuse” of the global tax system.
Technology giant Apple, the world’s second biggest company, topped Oxfam’s league table, with some $181bn held offshore in three subsidiaries.
Boston-based conglomerate General Electric, which Oxfam said has received $28bn in taxpayer backing, was second with $119bn stored in 118 tax haven subsidiaries.
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