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4.11.03
Politics and Economy:
Tax Havens
More on This Story:
Update

Several months ago NOW looked at the removal of some corporate headquarters overseas and the tax benefits that ensue in "The Off-Shore Shell Game." Recently in Congress, one hundred and fifty-two Members of Congress — a bipartisan group — have introduced a bill, the Corporate Patriot Enforcement Act, that would close down offshore tax havens used by some of America's biggest corporations to avoid taxes.

The legislators are finding support from a coalition of other groups. The columnist Arianna Huffington is one of the co-founders of The Bermuda Project, the citizens' organization that wants an end to overseas corporate tax shelters. Representatives from the the Web site moveon.org, the Campaign for America's Future and Citizens for Tax Justice also spoke at a recent press conference in Washington on the tax shelter bill.

Below are figures provided by The CitizenWorks and The Bermuda Project on Fortune 500 companies with tax haven subsidiaries. All data is compiled from corporate 10-K tax files.

Fortune 500 companies with the most offshore tax haven subsidiaries
(data from company 10-K reports to investors/SEC)
Company (most recent 10-K) Total # of subsidiaries # of Subs. in Tax Havens Total # of subs. in 1997 # of Subs. in Tax Havens in 1997 # Increase in Tax Havens % Increase in Tax Havens
El Paso (2002)1 1231 244 428 52 192 369.23
AES (2002) 909 195 15 2 193 9650.00
Morgan Stanley (2003)2 625 99 138 2 97 4850.00
Citigroup (2003)3 1736 92 349 19 73 384.21
Aon (2002) 1497 87 892 43 44 102.33
Marsh & McLennan (2002) 998 67 417 24 43 179.17
Mirant (2002) 330 65 N/A for Southern (the former parent company)
Halliburton (2002) 618 58 77 8 50 625.00
Bank of America Corp. (2003)4 780 52 544 N/A    
Marriott International (2003)5 522 41 313 16 25 156.25
BellSouth (2003) 330 39 563 N/A    
Boeing (2003) 284 31 87 10 21 210.00
Williams (2002) 349 31 176 13 18 138.46
Pfizer (2002) 404 30 187 9 21 233.33
PepsiCo (2003)6 550 29 194 14 15 107.14
Viacom (2002) 960 27 576 27 0 0.00
Interpublic Group (2002) 1405 27 431 5 22 440.00
J.P. Morgan Chase (2003)7 284 27 132 11 16 145.45
Fluor (2002) 427 27 N/A N/A    
Sara Lee (2002) 525 26 453 14 12 85.71
American Express (2002) 297 25 254 26 -1 -3.85
Lehman Brothers Holdings (2003) 112 23 196 1 22 2200.00
Xerox (2002) 301 23 91 6 17 283.33
Prudential Financial (2003) 382 21 N/A N/A    

1Not available before 1999
2was Dean Witter
3was Traveler's Group
4was NationsBank
5Not available before 1998
6170 other sub owned by KFC, Pizza Hut
7was Chase Manhattan


Note: Enron is no longer a member of the Fortune 500.
Data compiled by Citizen Works from corporate 10-K's.

Countries considered to be tax havens include: Aguilla, Canary Islands, Guernesey, Monaco, The Principality of St. Christopher and Nevis, Andorra Cayman Islands, Isle of Man, Montserrat, St. Lucia Antigua Channel Islands, Jersey, Nauru, The Republic of St. Vincent, Bahrain, Commonwealth of Bahamas, Liberia. Netherlands Antilles, Tonga, Barbados, Commonwealth of Dominica, The Principality of Liechtenstein, Niue, Turks and Caicos, Belize, Cook Island, The Republic of Maldives, Panama, US Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Gibraltar, The Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, The Republic of Vanuatu, British Virgin Islands, Grenada, Mauritius, The Republic of Seychelles.

You can read columns by Arianna Huffington, and get a preview of her new book, PIGS AT THE TROUGH: HOW CORPORATE GREED AND POLITICAL CORRUPTION ARE UNDERMINING AMERICA, on her Web site.

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