Details of President Obama’s Dec. 15 meeting with the nation’s top CEOs are now emerging. While no love was lost, by all accounts the meeting was cordial, with the CEOs specifically asking for a holiday for the so-called “repatriation tax.”
The move, according to Bloomberg, would help them tap more than $1 trillion of offshore earnings, much of it sitting in island tax havens.
The money−including hundreds of billions in profits that U.S. companies attribute to overseas subsidiaries to avoid taxes−is supposed to be taxed at up to 35% when it’s brought home, or “repatriated.” Executives including John Chambers of Cisco Systems Inc. say a tax break would return a flood of cash and boost the economy, reports the news service.
As Bloomberg notes, what nobody’s saying publicly is that U.S. multinationals are already finding legal ways to avoid that tax. Over the years, they’ve brought cash home, tax-free, employing strategies with nicknames worthy of 1970s conspiracy thrillers — including “the Killer B” and “the Deadly D.”