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[News] [Rival] The Mortal Cost of Microsoft's Tax Dodge

  • Subject: [News] [Rival] The Mortal Cost of Microsoft's Tax Dodge
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 06 Apr 2010 07:37:16 +0100
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
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Our Response to Washington State Representative Ross Hunter 

,----[ Quote ]
| For the past six months, I've created a 
| billion dollar public relations problem 
| for Microsoft. Rep. Hunter's responded by 
| essentially proposing to grant amnesty to 
| Microsoft for its past tax practices 
| (through the "field audit" sentence) and 
| to redefine the royalty tax down (from 
| Worldwide revenue to Washington-sales 
| only) going forward. I've never met Rep. 
| Hunter, but these actions raise red flags 
| for me. I hope that they do for you as 
| well.


Wash. gov approves smelter, server farm tax breaks

,----[ Quote ]
| Gregoire said she'd spoken to Microsoft 
| Corp. and other companies about their 
| desire to build new server farms if the 
| tax break were enacted, and predicted at 
| least three of the facilities would be 
| built soon.


What The Top U.S. Companies Pay In Taxes

,----[ Quote ]
| As a result, figures tax economist Martin 
| Sullivan, companies are keeping some $28 
| billion a year out of the clutches of the 
| U.S. Treasury by engaging in so-called 
| transfer pricing arrangements, where, say, 
| Microsoft's overseas subsidiaries license 
| software to its U.S. parent company in 
| return for handsome royalties (that get 
| taxed at those lower overseas rates). 


Custom Software Tax Raising Spotlight on Microsoft's Nevada Tax Dodge

,----[ Quote ]
| The article does a great job of giving all 
| sides of the issue their say. 
| Representative Ross Hunter, a 17 year 
| veteran of Microsoft, told TechFlash: "We 
| donât think weâd win a court case on 
| this,". In response, Microsoft Tax Dodge 
| publisher Jeff Reifman says, "The 
| substance of what they're doing is tax 
| avoidance."


Sen. Kline: Some people will die as a result of budget cuts

,----[ Quote ]
| If Microsoft weren't minimizing its taxes 
| with its Nevada subsidiary, would there be 
| more money available to fund this program 
| and save lives - it's very likely so.


Microsoft's Nevada Tax Dodge In The News Today


The Case Law Against Microsoft and its Nevada Tax Dodge is Extremely Clear

,----[ Quote ]
| Since 1997, for all of the thirteen years 
| of Microsoft's tax dodge, its Washington 
| Headquarters, its Washington corporation's 
| co-ownership of Microsoft Licensing GP of 
| Nevada and the four Microsoft employees 
| based in Washington registered as officers 
| of Microsoft Management LLC of Nevada (the 
| other co-owner of Microsoft Licensing GP) 
| all represent systematic and continuous 
| contact between Microsoft of Washington 
| and its tax dodging Nevada corporation's 
| intangible assets.



Cover Story: Washingtonâs Candy Land of Tax Breaks

,----[ Quote ]
| As our cash-strapped state prepares to cut
| services for the poor and mentally ill,
| billions of dollars in tax breaks and
| exemptions are still being doled out.
| [...]
| Deferral of state and local retail sales and
| use taxes are also allowed for the
| construction of buildings for high-tech
| projects involving research and development.
| That has Microsoft and its ever-expanding
| campus written all over it, allowing MS to
| avoid sales tax on construction costs,
| materials, and new equipment, for example.
| Another 500 small and large companies also
| benefit, says the state. The exemption was
| created in 1994 and extended in 2004 for
| another 10 years. Over a decade, that's $650
| million the state is not raking in.
| Almost 1,700 high-tech firms also share
| another $50 million in B&O tax credits for
| research and development under an exemption
| that was also renewed in 2004 for another
| decade. And a $12 million property-tax break
| goes to companies that use custom computer
| software.
| Microsoft, incidentally, has also avoided
| paying a ton of state taxes by moving
| offshore, so to speak. According to writer
| and ex-Microsoftie Jeff Reifman, Microsoft
| opened a small Nevada office in 1997 to
| record software-licensing revenue and skirt
| Washington's half-percent wholesale tax on
| software-licensing royalties. Reifman
| estimates that has helped the company of
| billionaires Bill Gates and Paul Allen avoid
| more than $700 million in Washington taxes.
| With interest and penalties, the total
| exceeds $1 billion.


An Open Letter to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer: Quit Dodging Washington Taxes


Gregoire Proposes to Redefine Economic Nexus

,----[ Quote ]
| The post seems to focus on companies out of
| state doing business in Washington. It does
| not clearly address Microsoft which both has
| an extensive physical footprint in Washington
| and uses Nevada to record revenue in an
| attempt to evade Washington's B&O Royalty
| Tax.
| While we are in favor of clearer definition
| of Nexus in relationship to these taxes, it's
| important to focus on the potential
| illegality of Microsoft's existing accounting
| methods to dodge the royalty tax. We continue
| to believe Microsoft's historical behavior
| and current actions represent tax evasion and
| can and should be cracked down upon by the
| Department of Revenue.


Washington State Revisits Data Center Tax Break


State Legislature considers tax break for new data centers


Microsoft Dodging Taxes on Sales to Local Cities and State Agencies

,----[ Quote ]
| In other words, while Washington cities and
| state agencies think they are buying local,
| they're actually purchasing software through a
| scheme designed to provide cover for Microsoft
| to evade the state's B & O Royalty Tax.
| Over the past twelve years, Microsoft has
| avoided paying an estimated $1.24 billion in
| taxes, interest and penalties on its software
| licensing revenue. Washington State's current
| projected budget deficit is $2.6 billion.


Quincyâs Gain: Huge Growth in Tax Revenue

,----[ Quote ]
| That spigot of revenue may be short-lived due
| to the stateâs stance on data center tax
| incentives. Microsoft announced in August
| that it was migrating its Windows Azure cloud
| computing infrastructure from its data center
| in Quincy to another Microsoft facility in
| San Antonio. The reason: Microsoftâs
| unhappiness with tax policies in Washington
| state.


More companies are disclosing their political activity

,----[ Quote ]
| Monday, the Center for Political
| Accountability will announce that software
| giant Microsoft, Time Warner, Campbell Soup
| and Wisconsin Energy have agreed to detail
| their trade-association donations, along with
| other political spending.
| Dan Bross, Microsoft's senior director of
| corporate citizenship, said the company
| wanted "to lead by example." Microsoft has
| posted its political-related dues online for
| the first time. The largest payment: $2.1
| million in fiscal year 2009 to the Computing
| Technology Industry Association, a high-tech
| trade group.


White House Forecasts Job Growth Next Year

,----[ Quote ]
| How can the US Create jobs? Here's a simple
| way that won't cost taxpayers a dime.
| How? Eliminate H-1B and L-1 Visa Fraud and
| abuse.
| What can I do right now to change this?
| Boycott Microsoft. Microsoft is the largest
| and most abusive foreign visa worker
| employer.
| * Foreign H-1B workers "displace qualified
| American workers"
| * H-1B workers "substantially deprived U.S.
| citizens of employment."
| * 20% + USCIS audited guest worker visa
| applications are fraudulent
| * Foreign H-1B workers âsubstantially exceedâ
| 241,000 unemployed American tech workers in
| the same field
| How did this happen?
| Corporate Greed and bottomless lobbyist
| funding from corporations including
| Microsoft. Convicted felon and H-1B program
| mastermind, Microsoft lobbyist, Jack Abramoff
| convinced Congress (without opposing
| testimony) to pass laws that make it legal
| for employers to lay off American citizens,
| and recruit their foreign visa worker
| replacements exclusively offshore.
| The good news
| S887 - This bipartisan Durbin/Grassley bill
| reform will crack down on corporate visa
| fraud and abuse and outlaw the corporate
| bypass of US talent and exclusive recruiting
| offshore for US jobs in the USA.
| Employ Americans Act â The Sanders/Grassley
| bill will outlaw US employers from firing US
| citizens and exclusively hire their
| replacements from other countries.
| Simple things YOU can do TODAY to change the
| US jobs crisis
| 1. BOYCOTT Microsoft.
| 2. Insist your elected officials support
| Employ America Act and S887.
| If they donât support these bipartisan bills,
| ask why and CHASE THE MONEY. Who are their
| corporate funding contributors?
| Actions and Deeds NOT Lip service.
| What are YOUR politicians doing about the
| jobs crisis?
| Are they co-sponsoring/sponsoring these
| bipartisan bills?
| Whatâs their voting record?
| Are they fighting for unemployment and COBRA
| benefits?
| Dead giveaways your politician will do ZERO
| to create US jobs for US citizens
| Political funding from Microsoft, Compete
| America, and Indian companies
| B.S. Detector Corporate Greed funded lies â
| keywords âInnovationâ, âBest, and Brightestâ,
| globalization, xenophobia.
| This issue is the bulls eye of corporate
| greed and political corruption. Hence, a
| consumer boycott of Microsoft has more impact
| than expecting a broken, corrupt system to
| change.
| Remind your elected officials they were
| elected FOR the people, BY the PEOPLE, not
| BUY Corporate GREED.
| Tell them to end corporate visa fraud and
| abuse. American citizens, people who have
| paid their dues and taxes must have a fair
| chance to compete for jobs in our own
| country.

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