Chart of the Day: Two-Thirds of Corporate Profits Are Now Held in Tax Havens

The Republican tax bill has lots and lots of odd provisions which I’m only now learning about. For example, did you know that it bans tax-free bonds for building sports stadiums? I like that one, actually, though I’m not quite sure what the justification is.

But whatever the reason, it’s small potatoes. How much money does Uncle Sam lose due to tax free stadium bonds? Or tax-free “employee achievement awards”? Or teachers writing off the cost of supplies? Practically nothing. But I can name one thing that costs the Treasury a ton of money: corporate profits held in offshore tax havens. This is from Gabriel Zucman, our reigning expert on such things:

I have taken the liberty of making Zucman’s chart more colorful in hopes that it will eventually attract a mate.¹ But even on its own, it shows that the percentage of corporate profits held in tax havens has steadily risen for decades and now stands at triple the amount of the mid-80s. This would be a great loophole to close as a companion to lowering the corporate tax rate. You know, broadening the base and all that.

But of course the Republican tax bill does nothing of the sort. In fact, the GOP would like to offer a lovely tax holiday that allows corporations to repatriate all this money at a tax rate of 10 percent. Normally they hate amnesties, but for some reason they like this one. I wonder why?

¹Sorry. This joke will become clearer later in the day. Or maybe tomorrow.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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