July 30, 2014

Sen. Warren Denounces Corporations Who "Renounce Their American Citizenship" To Dodge Taxes

Calls on Congress, Administration To End Corporate Tax Inversion Loophole: "The Time for Freeloading Is Over"

Video of Sen. Warren's speech is available here.

Full text of Sen. Warren's speech is available here.

WASHINGTON, DC - In a speech delivered on the floor of the United States Senate today, Senator Elizabeth Warren called for closing the "corporate inversion" tax loophole, which allows American companies to dodge taxes by filing paperwork claiming foreign citizenship after they merge with another company overseas. Senator Warren urged Congress to pass the Stop Corporate Inversions Act she co-sponsored with Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.), and highlighted executive action the Administration could take to reduce the tax benefits of corporate inversions.

In her remarks, Senator Warren said that corporations exploiting the corporate inversions loophole are shirking the responsibilities that come with American citizenship while continuing to enjoy the benefits. "These companies are renouncing their American citizenship, turning their backs on this country, simply to boost their profits. They are taking advantage of all the good things that our government helps provide - educated workers, roads and bridges, a dependable court system, patent and copyright protections - and then running out on the bill," she said.

"If a person did that, we'd call them a freeloader," Senator Warren continued. "For a person who doesn't want to pay a fair share, our message is clear: you can renounce your citizenship, but don't come back and expect the rest of us to pick up your tab. But we don't do that for corporations. Corporations can renounce their American citizenship - and make absolutely clear in legal documents that they're doing so to avoid their US tax obligations - and not suffer any consequences. In this corner of the tax code, we've gone way past treating corporations like people. In this corner of the tax code, we treat corporations better than people."

Senator Warren called on Congress to pass legislation right away, and also noted that "the Administration doesn't need to wait for Congress. It can use its existing authority to slow down and reduce the attractiveness of these sham inversions right now."

"America is a great place to do business because of the investments we have made together," said Senator Warren. "The companies that are pursuing these corporate inversions know all of this. That's why they are not actually leaving America behind. They just don't want to pay for it... If these companies want to leave all of that behind, that is their right. But if they exercise that right, if they leave America behind, then they shouldn't get to turn around and claim all the privileges of being an American company. We've had enough of rich corporations taking whatever they want and expecting everyone else to pick up the pieces. The time for freeloading is over."