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[News] [Rival] Microsoft's Tax Dodge Meets Apologista, Accusations

  • Subject: [News] [Rival] Microsoft's Tax Dodge Meets Apologista, Accusations
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 21 Jun 2010 22:28:37 +0100
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.4.2
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Re: Microsoft Tax Dodge

,----[ Quote ]
| As we pointed out in todayâs Morning Fizz, Jeff Reifman, a former Microsoft
| employee who is on a crusade to get Microsoft to pay royalty taxes on software 
| licenses, took me task for not asking Microsoft VP Brad Smith about 
| theirâestimated $100 million a yearâtax dodge. (Reifmanâs website has a 
| helpful fact sheet on the issue.)
|
| Hereâs the deal: Microsoft has a shop in Reno, Nevada where it issues 
| its software licenses. Even though dividends from those licenses come 
| back to Redmond, the licensing transactions are not captured by 
| Washington State because the business is technically generated out 
| of Nevada. (I talked at length today with bureaucrats in Olympia who 
| confirmed the situation.)
|
|[...]
|
| By the way, I  take issue with Reifmanâs assertion that I 
| was âcharmedâ or ârolled overâ by Smith and the dinner.
`----

http://www.publicola.net/2010/06/14/re-microsoft-tax-dodge/

Stop Smoking

,----[ Quote ]
| I would like the USA to apply RICO to what 
| M$ does, too. RICO covers fraud such as 
| false advertising and tax fraud. Many of 
| the âget the fudâ ads, the layers of 
| partners and kickbacks, and $billions 
| âinvested in researchâ could be 
| fraudulent. Could a business really 
| investing billions in research actually 
| produce a product as faulty as that other 
| OS? I expect a lot fewer billions have 
| been invested in GNU/Linux research for a 
| much better result. Is the research of M$ 
| legitimate, or a tax dodge? Around the 
| world, M$ has been pursued for dodging 
| taxes. I would not be surprised to find 
| they do it âat homeâ. The last annual 
| report said:
| 
|     âDuring fiscal year 2008, we reached a 
|     settlement with the Internal Revenue 
|     Service (âIRSâ) on its 2000-2003 
|     examination. As a result, we reduced 
|     our unrecognized tax benefits by $4.8 
|     billion and recognized a tax provision 
|     reduction of $1.2 billion. As a result 
|     of the 2000-2003 settlement and the 
|     related impact on subsequent years, we 
|     paid the IRS approximately $4.1 
|     billion during fiscal year 2009.â
`----

http://pogson.6k.ca/2010/06/19/stop-smoking/


Recent:

Governor Gregoire Isn't Clueless, She's Gutless

,----[ Quote ]
| Her answer confused me since the bill she
| just signed gave Microsoft a huge effective
| tax cut, changing the royalty law from a
| tax on gross worldwide revenue to one only
| on sales to Washington State customers.
| Whereas Microsoft will earn approximately
| $20.7 billion in worldwide licensing
| revenue this year, its sales to Washington
| State are a tiny fraction of this. So
| having slashed Microsoft's tax exposure,
| what exactly did Gregoire want to bring
| back?
|
| Furthermore, every effort in the
| Legislature, spearheaded by 17 year veteran
| ex-Microsoftee and Chair of the Finance
| committee Rep. Ross Hunter, seemed geared
| towards rewriting the system in favor of
| Microsoft ... the legislation even includes
| language which grants Microsoft amnesty on
| its past 13 year Nevada tax dodge, an
| estimated $757 million in unpaid taxes.
|
| [...]
|
| In the year of a $2.8 billion budget gap,
| Gregoire chose not to cast Microsoft as a
| tax evading villain, enforcing the old
| royalty tax in a PR and legal coup that
| might have netted the state $100.7 million
| this year (note: that's more than $84.7
| million) not to mention $1.2 billion in
| past payments, interest and penalties,
| instead she chose to raise the business
| service tax rate, create new "7-11" taxes
| on beer, wine and candy and to cut vital
| services including unemployment benefits to
| the disabled.
|
| [...]
|
| The Two Biggest Myths About Microsoft in
| Washington State
|
| Rather than worry about the next ten
| thousand high paying technology jobs
| Microsoft's creating in India, China, Texas
| and elsewhere, she wants us to believe
| she's fighting the company to return its
| 100 - 200 Nevada managed lawyers,
| paralegals and accountants who run its
| (formerly) tax avoiding royalty business.
| As it only takes a small number of lawyers
| and accountants to dodge $100.7 million
| annually in taxes, Microsoft's tax
| avoidance jobs don't scale the way it's
| next big technical success like Azure, or
| Natal or Kin might.
|
| The biggest myth in Washington State is
| that Microsoft plans to grow its next ten
| thousand jobs here. The second biggest myth
| is that if we tax the company more it will
| leave. The painful truth is that it's
| already engaging in a number of steps to
| reduce its growth (and even downsize) here
| and we'd have to pass a lot more bad law
| like the one Gregoire just signed if we
| want them to stay.
|
| Meanwhile, no one in state government has
| responded to legal precedents that suggest
| the state might have prevailed in a lawsuit
| to collect that billion in unpaid royalty
| taxes from Microsoft. Why would they,
| aren't we all on the same team?
`----

http://microsofttaxdodge.com/2010/05/governor-gregoire-isnt-clueless.html


Video: Exploring Microsoft's licensing taxes

http://blog.seattlepi.com/microsoft/archives/187700.asp


Staff growth at Microsoft may ramp up

,----[ Quote ]
| The 11 new jobs that Microsoft announced at
| its Reno operation last week might be the
| harbinger of something bigger.
|
| After all, the company launched its
| licensing operation in Reno with only 40
| employees in 1997. Today, the Microsoft
| Licensing GP office employs 250 fulltime
| Microsoft staff and nearly 400 additional
| contract workers.
|
| [...]
|
| Microsoft Licensing GP in Reno handles
| support of licensing agreements with
| business customers and other organizations
| in North and South America.
`----

http://www.nnbw.com/ArticleRead.aspx?storyID=14322


3,088 Taxpayers Paid the B&O Royalty Tax in 2009

,----[ Quote ]
| According to the Department of Revenue,
| 3,088 taxpayers (or SUCKERS! as
| Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer might call
| them) paid B&O Royalty Tax in 2009.
|
| Below is the history of B&O Royalty taxes
| paid in Washington since 1999 (source: Wa.
| Dept. of Revenue via e-mail). Note: I
| calculated the taxes paid column at .00484
| of taxable revenue.
|
| While $6.3 million in royalty taxes were
| paid in '09, if Microsoft had been paying
| the tax on its $18.7 billion in licensing
| revenue - the state should have recorded
| more than $87.6 million in tax receipts.
|
| This may explain why Ballmer has so far
| refused to respond to our call to open up
| Microsoft's Washington and Nevada tax
| records.
`----

http://microsofttaxdodge.com/2009/12/3088-taxpayers-paid-the-bo-royalty-tax-in-2009.html


Microsoft and licensing taxes, on KUOW

,----[ Quote ]
| Appearing on KUOW's "The Conversation" on
| Monday was Jeff Reifman, a former Microsoft
| employee who has been writing about
| Microsoft's software-licensing practices and
| whether they are illegal.
|
| He asserts that Microsoft sidesteps Washington
| tax law by licensing its software out of an
| office in Reno, Nev. Nevada has no software-
| licensing tax; Washington does.
`----

http://blog.seattlepi.com/microsoft/archives/186105.asp


Reno's Microsoft outpost has grown from 40 to 250 employees

,----[ Quote ]
| âThis is an attempt for people to know
| more about us,â said Mary Ellen Smith,
| general manager of the Reno operation
| which employs 250 people.
`----

http://www.rgj.com/article/20091204/BIZ/91204039/1003/CARSON/Reno-s-Microsoft-outpost-has-grown-from-40-to-250-employees


Now Obama is driving Microsoft overseas

,----[ Quote ]
| It takes an incredibly powerful company to threaten the U.S. government in
| hopes of impacting a significant decision, but thatâs precisely what
| Microsoft is doing. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made headlines when he
| publicly attacked President Barack Obamaâs plan to cut tax breaks on U.S.
| companiesâ foreign profits, a plan which is currently awaiting Congressional
| approval. Mr. Ballmer suggests that if the tax succeeds, Microsoft may begin
| a significant move out of the U.S., taking with it tax revenue and jobs. He
| states, âIt makes U.S. jobs more expensive. Weâre better off taking lots of
| people and moving them out of the U.S. as opposed to keeping them inside the
| U.S.â
|
| [...]
|
| Mr. Ballmer, perhaps the most outspoken critic, did acknowledge that the
| Obama proposal preserved research and experimentation cost tax breaks. He
| warned, though, that the cuts to foreign exemptions would raise the cost of
| Microsoftâs 56,552 U.S. employees. He says this could necessitate moving them
| overseas. Microsoft was previously embroiled in a controversy over whether it
| should lay off foreign workers before U.S. ones.
`----

http://www.stoptheaclu.com/2009/06/07/now-obama-is-driving-microsoft-overseas/


Ballmer Says Tax Would Move Microsoft Jobs Offshore

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steven Ballmer said the worldâs
| largest software company would move some employees offshore if Congress
| enacts President Barack Obamaâs plans to impose higher taxes on U.S.
| companiesâ foreign profits.
`----

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=amBiYGyHOkZ8


Ballmer Says Tax Would Move Microsoft Jobs Offshore

http://americandaily.com/index.php/article/1488


Tax plan would send jobs offshore, Ballmer says

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/microsoft/2009298130_ballmertaxes04.html


Microsoft speaks against foreign profit tax proposal

http://www.thenewstribune.com/business/story/766636.html


Microsoft debt offering raises questions about plans for funds

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft, which has historically avoided borrowing money, this morning took
| the next step in its previously announced plan to raise funds through a
| public debt offering. The company made the move in a preliminary prospectus
| filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
`----

http://www.techflash.com/microsoft/Microsoft_debt_offering_raises_questions_about_plans_for_funds_44725857.html


How Obama's tax reforms could impact Microsoft's bottom line

,----[ Quote ]
| The debate hinges on policies that let companies with international
| operations avoid higher U.S. tax rates by reinvesting their foreign earnings
| overseas. The Obama administration last Monday detailed its plan to put a
| damper on that practice.
|
| "Currently, businesses that invest overseas can take immediate deductions on
| their U.S. tax returns for expenses supporting their overseas investments but
| nevertheless 'defer' paying U.S. taxes on the profits they make from those
| investments," the White House said in a May 4 briefing document. "As a
| result, U.S. taxpayer dollars are used to provide a significant tax advantage
| to companies who invest overseas relative to those who invest and create jobs
| at home."
`----

http://www.techflash.com/microsoft/How_Obamas_tax_plan_could_impact_Microsofts_bottom_line_44679452.html


Microsoft subsidiary has â477m pretax profit

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft Ireland Operations Ltd (MIOL) had turnover of â11.3 billion and
| paid corporation tax of â63.5 million according to accounts just lodged with
| the Companies Office and seen by The Irish Times.
`----

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2009/0429/1224245596231.html


Microsoft Ireland slashes US dividend as profits rise

,----[ Quote ]
| The dividend payment is roughly half the almost â3bn the Irish subsidiary
| remitted to the US headquarters in the financial year ended June 2006.
`----

http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/microsoft-ireland-slashes-us-dividend-as-profits-rise-1364208.html


Microsoft in tax evasion soup

,----[ Quote ]
| Software major Microsoft Corpâs Indian subsidiary has been issued a
| show-cause notice for non-payment of service tax worth Rs 127 crore. The tax
| has been claimed on services offered to Microsoft Singapore by way of
| marketing support.
`----

http://infotech.indiatimes.com/Microsoft_in_tax_evasion_soup/rssarticleshow/2977840.cms


Tax benefit helped Microsoft's 3Q earnings

,----[ Quote ]
| Turns out Microsoft and Uncle Sam have been going back through the company's
| books from 2000 to 2003. Not knowing how that would end up, Microsoft
| had "over accrued" its tax provision in past quarters, said Colleen Healy,
| general manager of investor relations. With the review settled, the company
| was able to reduce that provision.
`----

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2004377713_btdownload28.html


Microsoft Leads in Lobbying Largesse

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft is leading the tech industryâs charge up Capitol Hill, according to
| statistics released Monday.
|
| The world's largest software company spent $9 million on lobbyists to make
| its case in issues including taxes and trade, according to statistics
|                    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
| compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
`----

http://www.redherring.com/Home/24187


Bill Gates: Rich Individuals Should Pay More Tax, Wealthy Corporations Less?

,----[ Quote ]
| As Taxing Tennessee points out, Bill Gates opposes eliminating the death tax
| but is quite happy to have local and state taxes eliminated for his
| company...
`----

http://seekingalpha.com/article/65465-bill-gates-rich-individuals-should-pay-more-tax-wealthy-corporations-less?source=yahoo


Microsoft EULA lands it with $175m Indian tax headache

,----[ Quote ]
| Basing its ruling on the terms of Microsoft's own EULA (end-user license
| agreement), an Indian court has ordered the company to pay tax on royalty
| income generated in the country, Tax India Online (TIOL) reports.
|
| [...]
|
| âUnacceptable tax avoidance typically involved the creation of complex
| artificial structures by which, as though by the wave of a magic wand, the
| tax payer conjures out of the air a loss, or a gain, or expenditure, or
| whatever it may be, which otherwise would never have existed. These
| structures are designed to achieve an adventitious tax benefit for the
| taxpayer, and in truth are no more than raids on the public funds at the
| expense of the general body of taxpayers, and as such are unacceptable.
`----

http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2008/03/31/microsoft_india_tax_ruling/


Cheers not jeers to Speaker Chopp on the Microsoft tax concession

,----[ Quote ]
| The Columbia Basin Herald this past week characterized House Speaker Frank
| Chopp as being a Forrest Gump, "stupid is as stupid does" villain for
| opposing big proposed tax breaks for Microsoft and Yahoo. The tax concession,
| those companies said, were necessary to keep them from fleeing Grant County,
| where they have huge server farms. The requests were similar to the $3.2
| billion in breaks Boeing Co. got from Governor Gary Locke and the Legislature
| when it threatened to take some of its assembly operations elsewhere.
`----

http://www.crosscut.com/business-technology/12933/Cheers+not+jeers+to+Speaker+Chopp+on+the+Microsoft+tax+concession/
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