September 21st, 2012
12:12 PM ET

U.S. tech companies exploit loopholes to avoid taxes

America's top tech companies have saved billions of dollars by exploiting U.S. tax loopholes. That's according to the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

According to the Panel's report, dozens of companies have used the loopholes to shift profits offshore to avoid paying taxes.

Two of the biggest companies cited, Hewlett-Packard, who used a series of loans, some spanning more than two years, that shifted billions of dollars between two offshore subsidiaries. Microsoft which transferred nearly half of its U.S. revenues to a Puerto Rican subsidiary between 2009 and 2011.

Offshore havens saved Microsoft $7B in taxes – Senate panel

Over the last two years, the 71 technology companies in the S&P's 500-stock, which includes Apple, Google, Yahoo and Dell – reported paying worldwide cash taxes at a rate that, on average, was a third less than other S.& P. companies'.

Which brings us to tonight's number: 70%.

That is the percentage of Apple's profits that are held overseas.

Filed under: The Number
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