Tags: Companies | US | Taxes | move

WSJ: More Companies Move Abroad to Escape US Taxes

Wednesday, 29 August 2012 11:31 AM

More and more U.S. companies are moving their corporate headquarters overseas to escape U.S. corporate taxes, which are among the highest in the world, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Since 2009, at least 10 U.S. public companies have moved their incorporation addresses abroad or have announced plans to do so, a Journal analysis of company filings and statements found. Fewer than that moved between 2004 through 2008.

Eaton, a 101-year-old Cleveland-based maker of components and electrical equipment, announced in May that it planned to acquire Dublin, Ireland-based Cooper Industries, another electrical-equipment maker. Eaton will keep its factories, offices and other operations in the United States, but move its place of incorporation to Dublin.

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Eaton said tax benefits of the merger and moving would save the company about $160 million a year.

"We have too high a domestic rate and we have a thoroughly uncompetitive international tax regime," Eaton CEO Alexander Cutler told CNBC earlier this year. "Let's not wait for the next presidential election" to change the rules.

Ensco International, an oil-rig operator, moved to the United Kingdom in 2009 from Texas and expects to cut its effective tax rate to 10.5 percent from 19 percent in 2009, savings more than $100 million a year.

Rowan International, another Texas oil-rig operator, has said it will do likewise.

"We're able to be competitive, with a low effective rate," said Suzanne Spera, the firm's director of investor relations, The Journal added.

Both Democrats and Republicans have sought to revamp the U.S. corporate tax code, which sets a top rate of 35 percent, one of the highest in the world.

Ireland, for example, has set a top rate of 12.5 percent, The Journal noted.

The Obama administration has proposed lowering the rate to 28 percent, while Republican rival Mitt Romney has said the upper limit should fall to 25 percent.

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Wednesday, 29 August 2012 11:31 AM
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