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Not Just Apple, How Microsoft Sidestepped Billions in State Taxes

reifman (786887) writes | more than 2 years ago

Microsoft 2

reifman writes "Apple's not the only company to save billions in taxes through Nevada as The New York Times reported yesterday. Here's how Microsoft's saved $4.37 billion in tax payments to Washington State and how it's led indirectly to $4 billion in K-12 and Higher Education cuts since 2008. 18% of University of Washington freshman are now foreigners (because they pay more) up from 2% six years ago. Washington State ranks 47th nationally in 18-24 yo college enrollment and 48th in K-12 class size. This hasn't stopped the architect of the company's Nevada tax dodge from writing in The Seattle Times: 'it's [Washington] state's paramount duty to provide for the public education of all children. Unfortunately, steady declines in public resources now threaten our ability to live up to that commitment.' Yes, indeed."
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not really Microsoft's fault, though... (1)

markyosti (2621289) | more than 2 years ago | (#39839481)

As long as there are laws that allow companies to dodge taxes, and as long as the government allows them to do so... doesn't sound very surprising.

With the current economy, if you were running a company competing on the free market with other companies, wouldn't you rather save 4B dollars than spend them? Even if I really dislike this kind of behavior and consider it amoral, it's not only convenient for the company, it's sort of your duty toward the shareholders and as a good administrator to save money and increase gains, if there's a legal way to do so. Again, as much as I dislike it, it's not your duty to worry about the consequences for your state - the state and the government should worry (and act) based on that.

The State of Washington decided it was better to leave 4B dollars to Microsoft (and other companies...) by reducing taxes and allow them to dodge them from Nevada? Than to spend 4B on schools and instructions? seems to me that's a matter residents of that state should sort out.

Re:not really Microsoft's fault, though... (1)

reifman (786887) | more than 2 years ago | (#39839547)

I appreciate the thoughtfulness of your response. There are actually laws against this - but the legislature (with its ex-Microsoft Chair of the Finance committee Ross Hunter) and head of the tax department (Suzan Delbene, wife of Microsoft Office VP Kurt Delbene) are so in bed together that they choose not to enforce the laws. I think if the Seattle Times served its public role and reported on this ... more Washington residents might get out and do something about this ... or push for change ... but it's been kept pretty quiet.
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