A Gazette editorial from the Charleston Gazette-Mail
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — For years, large American corporations like West Virginia-born Mylan Pharmaceuticals have eluded U.S. taxes by pretending to be foreign firms and stashing profits abroad. As long as they kept billions overseas — enriching those foreign lands — they avoided America’s steep 35 percent corporate income tax bite. Researchers say $2 trillion is held abroad.
President Obama proposed a solution — to let multinationals return their profits to America at a 14 percent tax rate, then pay 19 percent on foreign holdings thereafter — but conservatives in Congress objected.
Now, chickens have come home to roost. Apple has been slapped with a $14 billion European Union penalty because it kept $100 billion in Ireland without paying fair taxes. Smaller penalties previously were inflicted on Starbucks, Amazon and other U.S. firms.
Ironically, Congress is in a dither because the European Union crackdown means that America cannot someday tax the overseas wealth.
We hope West Virginia’s representatives in Washington support a solution that finally ends the shameful, disloyal practice of legal tax cheating.