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For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit

timothy posted about a month ago | from the what's-billed-vs-what's-owed dept.

Microsoft 316

walterbyrd (182728) writes "Microsoft Corp. is currently sitting on almost $29.6 billion it would owe in U.S. taxes if it repatriated the $92.9 billion of earnings it is keeping offshore, according to disclosures in the company's most recent annual filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The amount of money that Microsoft is keeping offshore represents a significant spike from prior years, and the levies the company would owe amount to almost the entire two-year operating budget of the company's home state of Washington."

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Okay... and? (4, Insightful)

beelsebob (529313) | about a month ago | (#47737965)

Why should they repatriate it? What's wrong with keeping money earned abroad, abroad?

Re:Okay... and? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47737997)

The summary, of course, missed Microsoft's legitimate response to people's enquiries:

The company says it has "not provided deferred U.S. income taxes" because it says the earnings were generated from its "non-U.S. subsidiaries” and then "reinvested outside the U.S.”

It's almost like the editors wanted to publish a biased article or something. Scandalous.

Re:Okay... and? (5, Informative)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a month ago | (#47738657)

I'd be interested to know if the majority of that money was in Ireland. If it wasn't, this is a non-story. If it was... well, there are ways of making the money "non-US" and you can rest assured that MS knows ALL of these ways. Their tax lawyers are just as good as IBM's IP lawyers.

Re:Okay... and? (5, Insightful)

meerling (1487879) | about a month ago | (#47738007)

Because most, if not all, of the big companies use various means to offshore money that should have US taxes paid on them oversea so they can avoid it.
Apparently Microsoft is no exception to that, nor even all that exceptional if that's all they've "shielded" from US taxation.

Re:Okay... and? (5, Informative)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about a month ago | (#47738349)

The USA is unique in considering all income earned anywhere to be taxable in the USA, even if that money never actually touches America. No other country has a tax system that works like this, perhaps because it's stupid. Instead they have double taxation treaties so if money is earned abroad and you pay taxes there, you can spend the money back home at your HQ without it being taxed a second time. America doesn't, so companies that earn a lot of money abroad simply don't spend it on their HQ. They find things to spend it on in other countries instead.

Re:Okay... and? (5, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | about a month ago | (#47738559)

Instead they have double taxation treaties so if money is earned abroad and you pay taxes there, you can spend the money back home at your HQ without it being taxed a second time. America doesn't,

[Citation Needed]

Rebuttal: The US system works by requiring Corporations to pay the difference between the foreign and US taxes.
Citation: http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/International-Businesses/United-States-Income-Tax-Treaties---A-to-Z [irs.gov]

/Personal income is likely to get double taxed, but that's not what we're talking about.

Re:Okay... and? (1, Informative)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | about a month ago | (#47738369)

Fail.

They are paying taxes on them. In the domiciles abroad. Near the end of TFA is:

The report also found that “28 these corporations reveal that they have paid an income tax rate of 10 percent or less to the governments of the countries where these profits are officially held, indicating that most of these profits are likely in offshore tax havens.”

It is conveniently politically correct to refer to other countries with lower tax rates as "tax havens". The reality is if the US tax rates were at (or at least near) the foreign rates than funds which could be repatriated would be. Note the word could. No company would bring home 100% as they are operating businesses overseas and need to invest there too.

Re:Okay... and? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about a month ago | (#47738009)

because they don't pay tax on it there either.

Re:Okay... and? (5, Insightful)

BitterOak (537666) | about a month ago | (#47738105)

because they don't pay tax on it there either.

But shouldn't that be up to the foreign countries where the money is earned? If a country doesn't want to tax earnings in its borders, that's their business. It doesn't mean the US or any other country should have a claim on it.

Re:Okay... and? (2)

Trepidity (597) | about a month ago | (#47738113)

If it's earned there, yes, though that's not always the case. Companies play a lot of games with where they choose to book expenses and income. Lots of companies are officially earning a lot of money in places like Luxembourg and Ireland that is really earned elsewhere.

Re:Okay... and? (-1, Flamebait)

war4peace (1628283) | about a month ago | (#47738243)

Then they should be audited and fucked in the ass. Still, the article has no point.

tax by transaction (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a month ago | (#47738295)

all the more reason to end the stupid tax code that we have. I had a theory I put together the other day, im sure im not the first but hear me out

What if we had a 1 penny tax on transactions, any transaction. For example there are 300 million bank transactions in the country a day. thats 30 million in taxes per day, JUST on bank transactions.

add in all the rest, fast food, shopping plazas, and wallstreet with micro/nano transactions

i need to do some more of the math, but if we add up 1 penny to all transactions (regardless of costs/ or items) everyone will be paying their fair share, no more loopholes, and things would be good.

Re:tax by transaction (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738323)

Here's my theory: what if you paid taxes on all the dicks you sucked? You'd be poor, that's what.

Re:tax by transaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738343)

-Go to the grocery store
-Buy $2000 in gift cards
-Pay 1 cent tax
-Don't pay taxes on groceries for the rest of the year

Re:tax by transaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738499)

Boat load of fail.
- Pay 1 cent tax on every transaction using said card.

A better work around for the previously mention method is buying $2000 worth of groceries in one transaction.

Re:tax by transaction (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about a month ago | (#47738539)

Groceries are not taxed, may want to use another example.

Re:tax by transaction (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about a month ago | (#47738557)

No dude, it's *every* transaction. Like when you give your kid their pocket money or take a penny from the "need a penny" dish (oh, wait...)

Re:tax by transaction (1)

lgw (121541) | about a month ago | (#47738609)

And how would subscriptions work? And why wouldn't everything be a subscription? A VAT can be made to work, but this is so game-able.

Plus, you're missing the key fact about government: they never give up a tax. Any tax you propose will be in addition to existing taxes, not in place of them.

Re:tax by transaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738623)

Hello ganjadude, if there were 300 million transactions and a 1 cent tax each, that would be 3 million in tax revenue per day.

Also, the government is spending about 9 billion a day, so um yeh, your tax would fall a bit short. Sorry, dude!

Re:tax by transaction (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a month ago | (#47738711)

What if we had a 1 penny tax on transactions, any transaction. For example there are 300 million bank transactions in the country a day. thats 30 million in taxes per day, JUST on bank transactions.

Alas for your theory, we don't have ten cents to the dollar in the USA. 300 million bank transactions is only $3 million.

Note, by the by, that $3M is about enough money for 25 seconds of Federal spending....

Re:Okay... and? (-1, Troll)

retchdog (1319261) | about a month ago | (#47738117)

without US political and military might, Microsoft wouldn't be nearly as safe doing business abroad as they are now.

i don't know exactly how much they should owe for this service, but it's stupid to say it's nothing.

Re:Okay... and? (2)

BitterOak (537666) | about a month ago | (#47738329)

without US political and military might, Microsoft wouldn't be nearly as safe doing business abroad as they are now.

i don't know exactly how much they should owe for this service, but it's stupid to say it's nothing.

By your logic everyone in the world should pay taxes to the US for keeping the world a safe place to do business.

Re:Okay... and? (2)

Richy_T (111409) | about a month ago | (#47738565)

While the dollar is still the currency of choice for buying oil, they are.

Not likely to last much longer though the rate they're printing them at.

Re:Okay... and? (5, Informative)

Notabadguy (961343) | about a month ago | (#47738147)

RTFA.

-Microsoft develops product in U.S, generating tax credit for R&D.
-Microsoft shifts ownership, or "Profit Rights" of product off-shore, to say....The Bahamas.
-Microsoft Bahamas subsidiary sells U.S developed product to Americans.
-Microsoft Bahamas claims all profit. Microsoft America gets all Tax Credits.

And that's how they avoid paying taxes. It's legal. It might not be "right," but it's legal, and won't change until our nation's useless politicians do something about it. This debate has been going on for a decade or more.

Re:Okay... and? (3, Insightful)

BitterOak (537666) | about a month ago | (#47738363)

RTFA.

-Microsoft develops product in U.S, generating tax credit for R&D.

And paying salaries to U.S. employees who pay income tax on it and spend their money in the US, thereby also paying US sales taxes.

-Microsoft shifts ownership, or "Profit Rights" of product off-shore, to say....The Bahamas.

Which only makes sense, since the US is one of the few countries in the world to tax people's oversea earnings. Only makes sense then that people and companies would move those profits offshore. If tax policies in the US were more reasonable, Microsoft wouldn't have to do that.

-Microsoft Bahamas subsidiary sells U.S developed product to Americans.

On which those Americans pay sales tax.

-Microsoft Bahamas claims all profit. Microsoft America gets all Tax Credits.

But as you said in your first part: the tax credits are for R&D, not for making profits!

Re:Okay... and? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738651)

Not exactly. More like this:

1. Microsoft US develops products through R&D in the US, claiming a tax credit for R&D activities in the US (all of which must be conducted in the US to qualify for the R&D tax credit).
2. Microsoft Bahamas purchases from Microsoft US the right to exploit (i.e. sell) the developed technology outside the US.
3. Microsoft US pays tax in the US on the profits from the payments from Microsoft Bahamas.
4. Microsoft Bahamas makes sure NOT to exploit (i.e. sell) the developed technology in the US, because that would likely cause it to become taxable in the US, generating a HUGE tax liability.

Media articles usually struggle with tax structures. Because they’re complicated. That’s why tax lawyers get paid a lot of money.

Re:Okay... and? (1)

Livius (318358) | about a month ago | (#47738671)

They should have forfeited and been required to repay any research credits or expense deductions when the intellectual property was sold.

But it didn't happen by accident. Lawmakers knew perfectly well what they were doing.

Re:Okay... and? (1)

Kohath (38547) | about a month ago | (#47738213)

and people who didn't earn the money want to spend it.

Re:Okay... and? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738503)

They do, if I buy a surface for $600, about $150 goes to the gov.

Re:Okay... and? (2)

alen (225700) | about a month ago | (#47738131)

because washington state wants to tax every penny microsoft makes around the world

Re:Okay... and? (1)

Livius (318358) | about a month ago | (#47738443)

If the money actually is abroad, then it shouldn't be taxed.

But I have a feeling there's something about the definition of 'abroad' that we might be missing.

Re:Okay... and? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about a month ago | (#47738527)

Why should they repatriate it? What's wrong with keeping money earned abroad, abroad?

The tax law, as originally written, once required companies to remit the difference between local taxes and US taxes.
So if Irish taxes are 10% and US taxes are 25%, Ireland gets its 10% and the USA gets 15%.

Then the law was changed so that as long as the money stays overseas, [Company] can defer having to pay that 15%.

Instead of actual business being conducted overseas, the majority of those deferred earnings are the result of transfer pricing.
US Company will give its I.P. to an overseas subsidiary and then license the I.P. back in order to shift profits to the low tax country.

Transfer pricing is legal, but the USA and Europe are looking into it, as it shifts taxable income out of their jurisdiction.
There's also questions about how corporations (fraudulently) value the assets being transferred and licensed.

Re:Okay... and? (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about a month ago | (#47738531)

Unfortunately, there's a political agenda in the current climate that is pushing that abiding by tax laws which means paying less taxes is the same as tax evasion and is tantamount to stealing. This witch hunt is often lead by those who wrote the laws in the first place.

Re:Okay... and? (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | about a month ago | (#47738653)

What I am confused about is how this is happening. I keep hearing on slashdot that the US has the lowest tax rates for corperations and the rich so how come it is cheaper (tax-wise) to go to another country - especially since from what I have read here, the US treats it's employees the worst as well as underpays them while stealing their benifits.

Surely, those comments were not just US hating propaganda?

Re:Okay... and? (1)

Technician (215283) | about a month ago | (#47738687)

Why single out Microsoft? Many multinational corporations have overseas divisions and not all income is brought home to be taxed, then sent back abroad to pay the workforce.

Everyone's gambling on another amnesty day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47737971)

If they want to be multinational, they better be prepared to pay multinational, 'natch.

H1Bs are "off shore" so it seems fair to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47737979)

What is wrong with that?

And ironically (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47737983)

Bill Gates openly supports creating an income tax in Washington to pay for education.

Separately, doesn't Apple have even more money outside the US?

Re:And ironically (2)

Dragon Bait (997809) | about a month ago | (#47738189)

Bill Gates openly supports creating an income tax in Washington to pay for education.

Just because Bill Gates is successful at the capitalist game doesn't mean that he is a capitalist. Same goes for Warren Buffet.

Re:And ironically (3, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | about a month ago | (#47738291)

I'll take "No True Scotsman" for $1000, Alex.

Citizens United says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738003)

If business are people, and people pay taxes, businesses should pay taxes.

And what's really wrong with a business owner doing his or her share? Our economy works because we put money into it, and not paying taxes harms the economy.

I know the answer is "greed", of course.

Re:Citizens United says... (1)

tomhath (637240) | about a month ago | (#47738297)

Do they want to collect taxes form people who work in other countries? Good luck with that.

Re:Citizens United says... (2)

NotSanguine (1917456) | about a month ago | (#47738411)

Do they want to collect taxes form people who work in other countries? Good luck with that.

Actually, that's the law [irs.gov]

Don't feed the parasites! (-1, Troll)

Third Position (1725934) | about a month ago | (#47738011)

Good for Microsoft! Why should they be paying any more of the money the earned (and not even in the US) to those that decidedly did not earn it than they absolutely have to?

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (-1, Offtopic)

Nimey (114278) | about a month ago | (#47738081)

American Third Position is a white-supremacist party. Above poster is therefore inherently advocating racism.

http://www.splcenter.org/get-i... [splcenter.org]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
http://american3rdposition.com... [american3rdposition.com]

Racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, homophobia, far-right Christianity.

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (1, Insightful)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a month ago | (#47738177)

And?

I thought people were allowed to have their own beliefs in this country without others attacking them for it.

I don't agree with a lot of people's personal, political, and religious beliefs, but that doesn't mean I should attack them based on those beliefs.

You can attack them for making stupid arguments in support of their beliefs, no problem. But to call someone out like you did, simply because they might believe something you don't like, is bullshit.

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (5, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | about a month ago | (#47738247)

Freedom of speech isn't freedom from consequences of your speech, sweet cheeks. He's free to associate with a disgusting ideology that holds certain people inferior because of how they're born, I'm free to mock him for it. For that matter, I'm free to mock your ignorance.

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (2, Insightful)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a month ago | (#47738547)

Freedom of speech isn't freedom from consequences of your speech, sweet cheeks. He's free to associate with a disgusting ideology that holds certain people inferior because of how they're born, I'm free to mock him for it.

Personally, I agree that you are free to mock him for it. It just seems like so much hypocrisy when the liberal mantra for the last twenty years is "You can't judge me!" Now that you have a voice, all you can do in the face of opposing views is attack and mock. In my view, your attitude is no different than what you claim his attitude is. Intolerance for people who are not in your group.

Go on, attack and mock those who you don't agree with. Attack me all you want. It just shows your intolerance. Not that those who agree with you care that you are all intolerant. Intolerance is now the greatest virtue of the liberal mind, as long as it is in support of liberal ideology.

For that matter, I'm free to mock your ignorance.

Ignorance?

I guess you missed the rhetorical nature of my comment.

Anyway, thanks for the reply. I don't agree with your viewpoint, but you have the right to have it.

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (5, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | about a month ago | (#47738569)

Go on, attack and mock those who you don't agree with. Attack me all you want. It just shows your intolerance. Not that those who agree with you care that you are all intolerant. Intolerance is now the greatest virtue of the liberal mind, as long as it is in support of liberal ideology.

It's amazing, isn't it, just how many conservative victims are on /. these days. Bonus points for whining about someone not tolerating your intolerance, and for whining about it in an intolerant way.

And here I thought conservative ideology was that we should man up and not worry about hurt feelings or political correctness. Shows what I know.

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a month ago | (#47738621)

As I say in a reply further down, a few of those anti-whatever positions you mention would be directed at me and my family. It isn't my beliefs I'm defending, intolerant or otherwise.

As for political correctness, you are the one advocating it. I'm just pointing it out.

I'm going to insert a portion of my previous post that I decided to remove before posting, because it may have been a misinterpretation on my part. From your response, I now know it is spot on.

I would suggest working on your reading comprehension. But from recent discussions I've had with your fellow liberals, I know you can't possibly read something from another person's viewpoint to get a better understanding. You will read my comments with the greatest ill intent, because I will neither agree with you, nor knuckle under to your views.

Even after having it explained to you, reading from another's view is an impossible task. Which is ironic, because that probably is what you would want your opponents to do so that they would have a better understanding of people they disagree with.

Yes, I cut that from my previous post, in case I was wrong. I needn't have worried.

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738251)

No, that is MY freedom of expression to yell at morons.

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about a month ago | (#47738255)

It's called "ad hominem" and the Internet is full of it.

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738267)

Ignore war4peace, he sucks dicks for extra drug money.

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (4, Funny)

war4peace (1628283) | about a month ago | (#47738315)

You bastard, you're wrong!!!

I suck dicks for free.

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738341)

Outstanding, I got this dick-sucker to respond to an AC despite his signature's disclaimer.

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a month ago | (#47738571)

So are you attacking him for being gay, or for supporting legalization of drugs? Why are you a homophobic supporter of Big Pharma?

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738595)

I'm trolling him with an ad-hom after he complained about an ad-hom, obviously. Too bad you're not smart enough to get that.

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a month ago | (#47738705)

And I'm trolling you for intolerance, when my whole point is intolerance for people with opposing views. You're no smarter than you think I am.

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738759)

Also, your mother is a whore whose dick-sucking is outdone only by her son.

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a month ago | (#47738567)

I know. I just have to point it out every so often.

The silly part is they now think I support whatever group that guy has in his sig, when a few of those anti-whatever positions would attack me and my family.

by the way, you had a great comeback to the AC.

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738265)

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738275)

I thought people were allowed to have their own beliefs in this country

Correct

without others attacking them for it.

False

I don't agree with a lot of people's personal, political, and religious beliefs, but that doesn't mean I should attack them based on those beliefs.

That is very courteous of you, but there is nothing that says you aren't allowed (nor is there anything that says you *should* attack them for having said opinions

But to call someone out like you did, simply because they might believe something you don't like, is bullshit.

No, it's a right, granted by the first amendment and you have the right to do the same to me. (granted, it's a dickish thing to do, but it's not bullshit)

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738321)

Because the parent poster used the phrase "those that decidely did not earn it", and it's perfectly fair to point out that it's code words for "people of other races". Informing readers where the link that same person posted goes is showing that it's not just a separate opinion the poster endorses, but part of saying "those who decidely did not earn it" as a cover for words they don't have the guts to say openly.
      And why the hell did you think people are allowed to have their own beliefs without other people 'attacking' them for it. If you want to equate posting to slashdot with a physical attack, then sure, but those two things don't equate. I'll gladly attack both you and the poster you're defending as racist assholes. Boo Hoo, - what ya gonna do, you should sue - Whaaaa!

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (0)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a month ago | (#47738415)

See, your post is the example of stupid arguments I have no problem attacking. You make so many false assumptions, just because you got your panties in a twist, you can't think straight.

And why would I sue an anonymous idiot on a message board? What, do you think your stupidity bothers me or has hurt me somehow?

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (1)

ultranova (717540) | about a month ago | (#47738549)

I thought people were allowed to have their own beliefs in this country without others attacking them for it.

Why would you think so, when the very First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech?

But to call someone out like you did, simply because they might believe something you don't like, is bullshit.

However, attacking someone for spreading an outright evil belief is perfectly okay.

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (0)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a month ago | (#47738689)

I thought people were allowed to have their own beliefs in this country without others attacking them for it.

Why would you think so, when the very First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech?

It was a rhetorical question. Doesn't seem so hard to figure that one out.

But to call someone out like you did, simply because they might believe something you don't like, is bullshit.

However, attacking someone for spreading an outright evil belief is perfectly okay.

I agree with that, but I don't see any "outright evil" in supporting a group someone belongs to. Unless you think the blacks who support affirmative action are also outright evil, as are gay people who support marriage equality.

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (1)

Nimey (114278) | about a month ago | (#47738771)

Hoo, boy. You're equating supporting affirmative action and gay marriage with white supremacy. You are a fucking piece of work.

*plonk*

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738157)

Good for Microsoft! Why should they be paying any more of the money the earned (and not even in the US) to those that decidedly did not earn it than they absolutely have to?

Because that money was earned in the US and then "paid" to another division of the company outside the US so it doesn't count as US income.

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738423)

Er, no.

The company says it has "not provided deferred U.S. income taxes" because it says the earnings were generated from its "non-U.S. subsidiaries” and then "reinvested outside the U.S.”

RTFA.

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738263)

Because paying taxes to support government infrastructure is how our society works.

Re:Don't feed the parasites! (1)

jriding (1076733) | about a month ago | (#47738353)

These are the comments I love. These are the same people that bitch that the government is spending more then it brings in. They are also the people that bitch that we are just "printing money". Hey here is an issue where people are stealing services and should be paying in as everyone else does so maybe we are not bankrupt... nope.. they will hold the party line. No taxes, the government should learn to repair roads, offer services, etc by magic....

Anti-American company (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738021)

They should be dissolved. They America and they hate American workers.

To hell with them.

Re:Anti-American company (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738309)

You should walk around Microsoft and see just how much they hate Americans. As the only non-Indian on my team, it's sad to see that the company would rather hire idiots just because they're Indian rather than hire competent people. It's destroying the company. Also, since upper management is mostly Indian and the CEO is Indian, it's nearly impossible now for a white person to get a promotion. That's why the people that have experience here and have been here for longer than a decade are leaving in droves. If you think our software is bad now, just wait five years.

Re:Anti-American company (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about a month ago | (#47738583)

It's destroying the company.

So finally Microsoft decided to do the right thing?

stupid government (1)

bumba2014 (3564161) | about a month ago | (#47738031)

I think this is not avoiding taxes. This is more a proof that governments are asking too much taxes...

Re:stupid government (1)

knightar (3440261) | about a month ago | (#47738141)

I agree, United States has some of the highest corporate taxes in the industrialized world in addition to many loopholes that allows corporations to pay nothing on the money they do report as income. They really need to close the loopholes and if that means forcing companies to pay their fair share to be it, Then we can lower the corporate taxes and companies wouldn't pay as much but they would be paying something, and it'll level out the same as it is now and it'll be better for everyone. I would love to see the US go from the highest Corporate taxes to the low end of the spectrum.

What do you mean, "repatriated"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738043)

That is money Microsoft earned offshore. It's foreign money. If Microsoft moved that money to the US, the money would not be "coming home", become American money again. It never was American money.

Re:What do you mean, "repatriated"? (1)

cduffy (652) | about a month ago | (#47738125)

"Earned" offshore, when 99% of the work is not the sales but the engineering -- which is very much onshore effort.

This is a place where Europe's VAT approach has it right.

It's legal, move on (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738051)

Any corporation that does take advantage of tax law loop holes is stupid. Bitching about it here is also stupid. Go ahead and see what happens if you try and change the laws in the US. Nothing, no more income, less jobs, etc. If you want to attract business, make it cheaper here, not in the Ireland, Bermuda, or the Far East.

Tag Team Cluster Rape (0)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about a month ago | (#47738067)

Yes, we all need to share the love of a company that insists upon importing labor while hording money in off shore accounts. But to really be totally offensive and obnoxious they claim that this is good for America while screwing everyone in sight. Now please remain calm. Please do not get upset or disgruntled and actually do anything to stop this wonderful cluster that is using us without lube.

How can it be... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738073)

I'm not a US citizen, nor I live in the US, but AFAIK, US citizens have to keep paying taxes even if they live abroad, until they resign their US citizenship. Why doesn't this apply to US companies? Even worse.. if they are people (or they have the same rights as US people), why can they do this?

How can it be... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738161)

Is Adam Opel AG the same company as General Motors? Is General Motors UK Limited the same company as Adam Opel AG? etc.

Re:How can it be... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738403)

(GP here) By the same logic I used in my post: even if you change your name while abroad, you are still the same person, and have to keep paying taxes. Besides, the US is already applying extra-territorial measures against a number of countries (Cuba/Iran/Russia/etc.). If the US govt. doesn't apply this to corporations, it's because the govt. doesn't want it.
I will reply to my own question: this all shows that the US is all about corporatism.
One man talked about this some 80 years ago:

I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler#Lectures [wikipedia.org]
The tragicomic part is that US people are expecting these corporations to give something back... They will just leave and find a more profitable place. Corporations are said to be people, but in reality, they don't even have a nationality, their only authority is money.

Why should they? (2, Interesting)

doghouse41 (140537) | about a month ago | (#47738111)

So why this assumption that they should be paying tax on this money to the US taxman?
Presumably it was all earned outside of the US.
As a UK taxpayer, I'd be much happier if they would pay UK tax on it (maybe we should offer them a deal - 1% of something is a better deal than 50% of nothing ;-)
And no doubt French, German, Japanese, Australian, etc tax payers would feel the same way.

So what's so special about the Americans?

Re:Why should they? (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a month ago | (#47738197)

We are the ones who get a "Participation Trophy" just for showing up.

Re:Why should they? (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about a month ago | (#47738307)

Globalization is interesting.

Say my manager is from the USA (he was, for about 3 years, now I have another manager who's from Denmark). I live in Eastern Europe.
My manager gives me a project. I, working in Eastern Europe, do the heavy lifting. My manager sits on his ass and asks "are we there yet?" every day, because it's all he's able to do. When work is finished, who's actually making the profit?
With hardware, it's relatively easy. The product is build *here* so the profit is registered *here*. But with software... it's basically "whatever's more advantageous for the company".
Which ain't that bad either. Competition is competition, even tax-wise. If government A has a tax of 1% and government B has a tax of 50%, what would YOU do, as a company? The main reason why government A has a tax of 1% is to attract money which otherwise would go to government B.
Microsoft's simply taking the best of all worlds, so to speak. Any individual or company would do the same, unless they're pure-breed, brainwashed nationalists... or clueless as to how finance works.

Tax them anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738121)

Just send them the tax bill as if the money had been repatriated.

Re:Tax them anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738261)

Congratulations! Your complete disregard for the law makes you a prime candidate for a position in the Obama Administration.

Re:Tax them anyway (2)

MerlynEmrys67 (583469) | about a month ago | (#47738351)

Please have congress pass a law that says they have to pay taxes on money kept overseas. Then have the president sign it. The second that you do that - the company will comply with the law as it is written as opposed to complying with the law as you wish it had been written.

Re:Tax them anyway (1)

tomhath (637240) | about a month ago | (#47738413)

Most likely they will comply with the law by moving their corporate headquarters to the Bahamas.

Re:Tax them anyway (0)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a month ago | (#47738645)

Most likely they will comply with the law by moving their corporate headquarters to the Bahamas.

Shhhhh!

Don't let the liberals in on the consequences of their beliefs. It only affords them the opportunity to think up incorrect excuses much sooner.

$93B in Treasury Bills (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738145)

Even though that $93B is over seas - it is in US Treasury bills holding overseas

Leave 93 billion sitting abroad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738183)

because fuck 63 billion; I want it all.

$93B abroad... (3, Interesting)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about a month ago | (#47738511)

...means $30B less they need to charge consumers. Or $30B more they can spend on their workers. Or $30B more they can provide to their shareholders.

In fact, thinking about it, the only way the government really gets screwed is if they charge consumers less, since that's also less tax revenue - both giving more money to their employees, or their shareholders, will end up triggering more taxes.

Taxes may be necessary, but they should be as minimal as possible.

ALL Corporations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738581)

All corporations operating in the United States of America for profit should be made to pay 10% of their gross income to American public infrastructure annually.

correction (0)

boligmic (188232) | about a month ago | (#47738703)

you mean 0% - stop being an idiot socialist

stopping the war machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738627)

Microsoft is right to hide this money from the united states as it would only be exploded in bombs.

Been there, done that. (2)

EdmundSS (264957) | about a month ago | (#47738699)

Microsoft are simply copying what Apple does. IBM and others are doing it too [bloomberg.com] .

They're all hoping that they can get the tax law changed so that they can repatriate the profits without paying the current tax rate.

Clickbait.dom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47738749)

With articles like these, who needs legitimate news?

if it was me.... (0)

Jim Noord (3139637) | about a month ago | (#47738767)

If it waz me that had money overseas that the Idiots in Ridiculous Suits IRS wanted, id be in jail until they got it. Corporations are people so jail the ceo veeps and board. Theyd pay then. Microsoft has been picking pockets for far too long. Not to mention the frequent "INNOVATION" AKA THEFT of IP from a ywhere they find it.
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