Just about every individual taxpayer wants to believe that corporate America is willing to pay its fair share of annual taxes to the government. Unfortunately, “profits” still seem to be the major driving force of most companies. They often simply refer to their fiduciary duty to provide stockholders with a maximum return on their investment dollars when explaining why they still do all they can to minimize their tax burdens.
Now, as 2014 comes to a close, a number of large corporations are looking for ways to get involved in “inversions.” Allan Sloan defines this type of transaction in his July 2014 Fortune magazine article entitled, “Positively Un-American.” He says that it’s a process that occurs when a company reincorporates “in a place like Ireland, where the corporate tax rate is 12.5%, compared with 35% in the U.S.” He goes on to say that just because this type of process may be legal, “It doesn’t make it right.”
Here’s a quick overview of the 10 Companies that Sloan describes as the “10 Top American Tax Avoiders.”
Companies Especially Interested in Seeking Out Tax Inversions Per Allan Sloan
- Carnival Corporation. If you’ve watched much TV during the past 10 years, you’re bound to have seen plenty of this company’s ads. Carnival is incorporated in both Panama and Britain. It was apparently a bit embarrassed about a fire onboard one of its ships in recent years when the U. S. Coast Guard helped the vessel reach safety in Mobile, Alabama. Later on, the company reimbursed the U. S. government for its help;
- XL Group PLC. This large insurance company was once registered in the Cayman Islands; today, it’s registered in Ireland. It’s a good idea to read the small print whenever you sign a new insurance contract, especially if you prefer to do business with a company that takes pride in paying its taxes to Uncle Sam;
- Nabor Industries Ltd. This large oil and gas drilling company is currently “domiciled” in Bermuda. According to Sloan’s article referenced above, this company (which doesn’t pay American taxes) is “receiving substantial federal subsidies” in regards to many of its projects;
- Allegion PLC. Although this company which makes locks (under the Schlage brand) is headquartered in Carmel, Indiana -- its leaders chose to have it “domiciled” in Ireland;
- Invesco Ltd. Incorporated in Bermuda, this company is an “Atlanta-based investment firm” that enjoys the financial advantages tied to avoiding American taxes. You may want to think twice when investing, as it’s usually wise to invest with a company that prioritizes paying taxes to Uncle Sam;
- Garmin Ltd. Founded in Kansas back in 1989, this company is now registered in Switzerland. Among other products, it’s well known for making GPS systems. Interestingly enough, the U. S. Army was Garmin’s “first company.” Some Americans may hope new arrangements will be negotiated if these two are going to keep doing a significant amount of business together;
- Eaton PLC. Known for its circuit breakers and truck transmissions, Eaton is registered in Ireland;
- Perrigo PLC. Currently headquartered in Michigan, Perrigo has now chosen to register this company in “low-tax Ireland.” Many know this company as the “world’s largest seller of OTC (over-the-counter) store-brand drugs.” It’s busy currently suing the FDA for not allowing a specific prescription drug to be sold over the counter;
- Actavis PLC. This pharma company is still headquartered in New Jersey where its CEO prefers to live. However, it’s now registered in Ireland; and
- Ingersoll Rand. Perhaps one of the best known companies among this group, Ingersoll is now domiciled in Bermuda. This group makes jackhammers, air compressors and a number of other products.
To obtain help with handling all of your Georgia business planning needs, please contact Shane Smith Law today. You can schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Peachtree City estate planning attorney by calling: (770) 487-8999.