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Business

TexPIRG: Fortune 500 Corporations’ Use Of Tax Havens Is Soaring

ExxonMobil and Apache are among top Texas users of overseas tax shelters.

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A new study by the Texas Public Interest Research Group, or TexPIRG, finds a dramatic increase in the amount of money Fortune 500 companies are shielding in offshore tax havens.

The study calculates that U.S. corporations are able to avoid paying $90 billion in federal income taxes each year, by reporting profits generated in the United States on the books of offshore subsidiaries. Often, the subsidiaries are nothing more than P.O. boxes, engaging in no business activity of their own.

“We found that between 2008 and 2013, the amount that companies booked offshore for tax purposes doubled,” says Dan Smith, co-author of the report.

The report ranked the top 30 companies in terms of most money held overseas. TexPIRG says that, collectively, these corporations have booked nearly $1.2 trillion in such offshore tax havens. Apple topped the list at more than $111 billion. ExxonMobil was the highest-ranked Texas company on the list at number 9, with $47 billion sheltered abroad. Apache is the highest-ranked Houston company on the list at number 30, with $17 billion.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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