Report: Six US tech giants have avoided $ 100 billion in global tax avoidance in a decade


Editor’s note: This article is from Tencent Technology, reviewed by Cheng Xi, and published with permission from 36 氪.Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and other U.S. technology giants avoid tax in overseas countries. This is no longer news. In order to combat tax avoidance, many European countries have introduced digital service taxes for Silicon Valley companies.According to the latest news from foreign media, a recent research report shows that the six largest technology companies in Silicon Valley in the United States have avoided $ 100 billion in taxes worldwide in the past decade.According to foreign media reports, the “Fair Tax Mark”, an organization that certifies corporate tax behavior (ie, has a good tax record), recently evaluated Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix,Google and Microsoft’s global tax situation.The study, released on Monday, analyzed 10-K regulatory reporting documents submitted to the government by US technology companies.The report examines tax provisions for technology companies—the amount of tax that companies set aside in advance in their financial reports—and compares these amounts with the taxes actually paid to the government (these amounts are called cash taxes).Researchers have found that over the past decade, the gap between the tax provisions of the six largest technology companies and the taxes they actually paid has reached $ 102 billion.The report states that in the past, reviews of tax payments by large companies focused only on tax provisions, and that this amount was not always the final tax payment received by the government.Researchers point out that technology companies are continuing to “shift their profits to tax havens, especially Bermuda, Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.”The researchers said that most of the tax gap “almost certainly occurred outside the United States,” and that overseas taxes accounted for only 8.4% of these companies’ overseas profits during the decade.On Monday, Paul Monaghan, CEO of the Fair Tax Mark, told foreign media over the phone that there was a huge difference between the company’s tax provisions and the taxes actually paid.”These companies pay less than $ 100 billion in taxes on their accounts,” he said.Amazon Amazon has been named the most tax-avoidant of the six companies, reporting that the e-commerce giant has paid $ 3.4 billion in income taxes since 2010.The above-mentioned agencies pointed out that in the past ten years, the cash tax paid by Amazon accounted for 12.7% of its profits, and that during the seven years of the reporting period, the U.S. corporate tax was set at 35% (2017,(Lambert lowered the US corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%).The report said: “Amazon is expanding its market dominance globally, and its income is basically tax-exempt and may unfairly harm local businesses that are more responsible for paying taxes.” Amazon ended 2018 with $ 232.9 billion in annual revenueIn 2016, the company’s market capitalization was approximately $ 892 billion.An Amazon spokesperson told foreign media in an e-mailed statement that the statement made by the aforementioned agencies in the report was wrong.A spokesman for the company said: “Amazon’s revenue accounts for about 1% of the global retail industry, and there are larger competitors everywhere we operate. In 2010-2018, Amazon’s actual profit tax rate was 24%.”The explanation said: “Amazon is a retailer with lower profit margins, so it is unreasonable to compare with technology companies with operating margins close to 50%. The government is setting tax laws and Amazon is doing what the government encourages companies to do-payTaxes are due, while billions of dollars are invested to create jobs and infrastructure. Coupled with low profit margins, such investments naturally reduce cash tax rates. “The spokesperson added that Amazon has invested 550 in Europe since 2010.Billion euros (60 billion US dollars), invested 18 billion euros in the United Kingdom, and paid 793 million pounds of taxes to the United Kingdom last year alone.According to the report, Facebook ranked second in tax avoidance.The researchers said that the company paid cash taxes that accounted for only 10.2% of the company’s profits over the past ten years, the lowest tax rate among the six largest technology companies.The report pointed out that Facebook’s overseas tax is also the lowest of the six companies, accounting for only 5% of overseas profits.A Facebook spokesperson told the media in an emailed statement that the company takes its tax obligations seriously and pays the taxes in every country where the company operates.They said: “In 2018, we paid $ 3.8 billion in corporate income tax worldwide, and the effective tax rate in the past five years was more than 20%. According to current regulations, we are required to pay most of the taxes that need to be paid in the United States because the United StatesHome to most of our functions, assets and risks. Ultimately, these are government decisions, and we support the new international tax rules that the OECD is looking for for the digital economy. “Google ranks third in tax avoidance, and the report states thatTaxes accounted for 15.8% of profits, while overseas taxation for ten years accounted for only 7.1% of overseas profits.A Google spokesperson said in an email that Fair Tax Sign ’s interpretation of Google ’s tax approach “ignored the reality of today ’s complex international tax system and distorted the facts recorded in our regulatory documents.” “Like other multinational companies”We pay the vast majority-more than 80%-of corporate income tax in our country,” they said.As we said before, we strongly support the work of the OECD to end current uncertainties and develop new tax principles.According to this research, Netflix’s fourth-avoided Netflix has delivered 15.8% of profits (as tax), and the fifth-ranked Apple has a tax rate of 17.1% over the past decade. “As the world’s largestTaxpayers, we know the important role that taxes play in society, “an Apple spokesperson told foreign media in an email.” No matter where we operate, we pay all taxes in accordance with tax laws and local regulations.Since 2008, Apple’s corporate tax alone has exceeded $ 100 billion.Netflix declined to comment on the results of the research. A Microsoft research report shows that Microsoft pays the highest tax rate, and the company’s cash tax rate is 16.8%. A Microsoft spokesperson told the media via email: “Microsoft fully complies with the countryLaws and regulations.We serve customers around the world, and our tax structure reflects this global footprint.In the past years, U.S. technology companies have been criticized by the public for investigations and fines for tax avoidance in European countries. U.S. companies have been accused of exploiting loopholes in the EU’s tax system to transfer profits through the design of complex subsidiaries in the Netherlands and IrelandTo evade tax obligations. The European Union requires Apple to pay the Irish government $ 14 billion in historical tax arrears, arguing that the ultra-low tax rate Apple enjoys in the country is unfair. The European Union also requires Amazon to pay approximately $ 300 million in taxes to LuxembourgAnd issued a fine. In order to prevent American technology giants from continuing to avoid tax, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and other countries have introduced digital service taxes, which are based on the income of technology companies in their own countries, not profits.The usual tax rate is 3%, but this tax has also sparked dissatisfaction between the US government and Silicon Valley companies. This Monday, the US government announced retaliation against French digital services tax, intending to impose a penalty of $ 2.4 billion on French importsSex tariffs, up to 100% …