Poll: Corporations dodge taxes

Feb. 6, 2012 at 3:18 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Small U.S. business owners are unhappy with the amount of taxes large corporations and their executives pay, a recent survey indicates.

In a survey conducted by the American Sustainable Business Council, the Main Street Alliance and the Small Business Majority, 90 percent of small business owners indicated they believed big corporations used loopholes to avoid taxes that small businesses cannot avoid. Seventy-five percent indicated these loopholes are harmful to smaller businesses.

Nine out of 10 respondents indicated large corporations shift profits to offshore subsidiaries to avoid paying U.S. taxes. Fifty-five percent of the respondents indicted this was a very serious problem.

A majority -- 68 percent -- indicated they believe millionaires do not pay their fair share of taxes.

"Warren Buffett spotlighted the madness of a tax code that lets him pay a lower rate than his secretary. Likewise, U.S. multinational corporations who shift U.S. profits offshore to avoid taxes shouldn't be rewarded with a tax rate below Main Street employers," said Scott Klinger, director of tax policy for Business for Shared Prosperity, a partner in the American Sustainable Business Council.

"I've been in business 32 years, and I'm appalled at how big corporations and millionaires have shrunk their taxes," said Lew Prince, managing partner of Vintage Vinyl, an independent music store in St. Louis, Mo. Prince called corporations that avoid taxes "ingrates."

"Ingrates like Amazon wouldn't even exist without the Internet, which grew out of government research. The least that big corporations and their executives could do is pay their fair share for the roads, ports, education, research, public safety and everything else that tax dollars buy," he said.

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