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For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit 316

Posted by timothy
from the what's-billed-vs-what's-owed dept.
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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For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit

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  • Okay... and? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by beelsebob (529313) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @04:13PM (#47737965)

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

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 23, 2014 @04:17PM (#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? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by meerling (1487879) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @04:18PM (#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? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BitterOak (537666) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @04:32PM (#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.

  • by I'm New Around Here (1154723) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @04:44PM (#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.

  • by Nimey (114278) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @04:57PM (#47738247) Homepage Journal

    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:And ironically (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nimey (114278) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @05:03PM (#47738291) Homepage Journal

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

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

    by BitterOak (537666) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @05:16PM (#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!

  • by I'm New Around Here (1154723) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @05:44PM (#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.

  • by Nimey (114278) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @05:48PM (#47738569) Homepage Journal

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

    by ArmoredDragon (3450605) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @09:29PM (#47739779)

    You can deduct it from your income, just the same as if it were a business expense, but they still tax you on that money anyways. If you had made that money inside of the US instead of somewhere else, you'd be taxed quite a bit less.

    Or to put it another way, that's just sugar coating the fact that you're still really being taxed twice just for the privilege of having a US citizenship, even if you've never had anything to do with the US (which is why the US is pretty much the only country whose citizenship people will renounce for tax purposes.)

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

    by Microlith (54737) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @10:18PM (#47739973)

    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.

    The 1% pushing the tax burden off on the 99%, who can't play international games with their finances.

    Which only makes sense, since the US is one of the few countries in the world to tax people's oversea earnings.

    No, that's not relevant. They play a shell game to make sure that all earned profits are earned in areas with little to no tax, then claim they made no profits. Or, if you're GE, you claim you made a $1B loss while reporting billions in profits to your shareholders.

    If tax policies in the US were more reasonable, Microsoft wouldn't have to do that.

    Like what, pledging fealty to corporations and letting the people of the country subsidize their existence?

    On which those Americans pay sales tax.

    Which helps local municipalities only - ignoring that sales taxes are regressive.

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

    Indeed, they claim the tax credits and losses in the US, but the profits outside. It's a massive scam, really.

You can do this in a number of ways. IBM chose to do all of them. Why do you find that funny? -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350

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