Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Missouri Can Play the Tax Shell Game with the Best of the Them

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2009 at 12:23 PM

Tax haven protests in New Jersey last month. - FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/UP YOUR EGP
  • flickr.com/photos/Up Your Egp
  • Tax haven protests in New Jersey last month.
Hundreds of millions of dollars are sucked from the pockets of taxpayers in every state in the union, with Missouri finishing No. 19 in revenue lost to offshore tax havens.

Released on Tax Day by the U.S. Public Interest Reserch Group, the report also reveals that 80 percent of the nation's 100 largest companies used various gimmicks and loopholes to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

Titled "Tax Shell Game," U.S. PIRG's findings basically echo a January report by the Government Accountability Office, which, among other revelations, points out that in the Cayman Islands -- a preferred "sham headquarters" -- there exists a five-story building called the "Ugland House" that contains nearly 19,000 registered businesses. Only problem is that only a few of those companies anything but a P.O. box there.

Unsurprisingly, California, which shells out more than $11 billion, leads the nation in money lost to tax havens, followed by Texas and New York, with each bearing an $8 billion burden. Missouri clocks in at $1.7 billion. For whatever reason, Vermont came out best, losing $136 million. Click here for a state-by-state breakdown.

Happy Tax Day!


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