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U.S. corporations stuffing over $2 trillion in profits in offshore accounts

As major U.S corporations continue to benefit from unneeded tax breaks, trillions of dollars are being stuffed into overseas bank accounts.

Occupy Wall Street protest that Wall Street and corporations pay their fair share
Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

In a stinging new report, a private research firm has released a study that shows that foreign profits by U.S. corporations have nearly doubled since 2008, reaching over $2 trillion. An additional report by Audit Analytics notes that those reports are correct and that the numbers since 2008 have increased by 93 percent.

The company with the largest amount of profits overseas is General Electric Co., stuffing $110 billion offshore. GE is pushing back against the claims, defending their position in doing so in a recent statement.

"GE operates in more than 170 countries, and most of these overseas earnings have been reinvested in active business operations like manufacturing facilities and loans to non-U.S. customers."

Other notable companies making the list are Microsoft Corp, with profits over $76.4 billion, the drug-maker Pfizer Inc, whose profits overseas hit $69 billion and Apple Inc, who have $54.4 billion in overseas accounts.

The reports have prompted U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Wyden to call for reform, echoing the sediment of many Americans who believe that corporations don't "pay their fair share."

"The new numbers...certainly highlight what is one of the key challenges for tax reform. I do think there need to be some reforms in this area."

According to US law, corporations don't have to pay income taxes on the majority of their overseas profits until they bring those profits back into the states. Corporations continue to fight over corporate tax reform, often citing the high 35 percent corporate tax rate that currently stands in the United States.

Supporters of reform note that while the corporate tax rate might be 35 percent, 1 in 4 profitable corporations don't even pay taxes due to loopholes in the system and the average tax rate paid by all major corporations in the United States is closer to 13 percent than the rate of 35 percent.

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