Tax Day Repurposed To "Illuminate" Corporate Tax Evaders

With President Obama fielding cynical cuts to Social Security to appease the Fix the Debt crowd and reach a budget deal, groups are teaming up to point out that there would be a lot less concern about the budget deficit if corporate America did what average Americans have to do and actually pay taxes. Taking advantage of loopholes, tricks and deductions, many U.S. companies pay far below the required 35% tax rate, and some, like General Electric have a negative tax rate. New web resources are shining a light on the firms and individuals that manipulate the U.S. tax system to their benefit, putting more of the burden on America's middle class.

Tax EvaderA coalition of groups have launched the new website as part of a week of action aimed at bringing attention to an estimated $100 billion per year that U.S. corporations are avoiding in taxes. The website was launched with help and research from the Citizen Engagement Lab, The Other 98%, US Uncut, The Yes Lab, Americans for Tax Fairness, U.S. Public Research Interest Group, Occupy Wall St, and the Wisconsin-founded Overpass Light Brigade.

The website is a play on the popular 1970s arcade game Space Invaders, but with a twist. The invaders are corporations who have been paying shockingly low taxes, some even manipulating loopholes to achieve a negative tax rate. The coalition takes a closer look at the taxes paid by General Electric, Bank of America, British Petroleum (BP), JPMorgan/Chase, Citigroup, ExxonMobil, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, Google, Microsoft, Pfizer, and Wells Fargo.

There are three main sections on the website; one for entertainment, one for education, and one for action. The home page allows visitors to play a video game as a group of protestors fighting off the Tax Evaders, in order to save schools, fire stations, and other public institutions. There is also an educational section, which shows each company's profits, their tax bill, and their refund. A third section allows visitors to "fire" on the tax evaders by sending Tweets to the corporations telling them to pay their fair share.

Offshore Tax Haven Docudump Raises Profile of Tax Evasion

In case you missed it, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), released a giant load of data in April that details the offshore holdings of people and companies in more than 170 countries around the world. The hoard of the documents "represents the biggest stockpile of inside information about the offshore system ever obtained by a media organization. The total size of the files, measured in gigabytes, is more than 160 times larger than the leak of U.S. State Department documents by Wikileaks in 2010," says the group.

The disclosures have rocked the government of French President Francois Hollande, whose budget minister was forced to acknowledge he lied about foreign holdings, and they provide a one stop shop on how tax evasion is actively pursued by corporations and individuals and facilitated by big banks around the globe. Learn more here.

CMD's Mary Bottari contributed to this article.


This article mistakes tax avoidance for tax evasion. Tax avoidance is legal and should be every American's goal - using the tax code to receive the highest refund available (or pay the lowest amount possible). Tax evasion on the other hand, is illegal and can land you in prison. You paint Corporations out to be evil when they are taking advantage of rules passed by Congress. Take your complaints there. The idea that it is wrong for a corporation to take advantage of the tax code is ridiculous. You do the same thing each year when you claim a personal exemption or take a standard deduction or receive the earned income credit - using the tax code to your benefit. Should I look for your name on that tax evaders website? Write Congress if you have a problem with the tax code. Don't fault Corporations that minimize tax liability working within the constraints of the Tax Code.

<blockquote>The idea that it is wrong for a corporation to take advantage of the tax code is ridiculous."</blockquote> Even more ridiculous is the idea that corporations should able to buy the Congress to write the tax code to suit themselves, and that ordinary voters don't get many chances to vote against that in either party. But there it is. Somehow you seem to have missed that whole point.

If we don't know about the evading corporations and their methods of evasion how or why would we contact Congress? You missed the point. This article and the website it links to gives citizens the information necessary to contact Congress with facts.

Tax evasion is impossible if the tax laws are simple since simplicity is the best sophistication. Lengthy rules become weak since they offer enough room for the loopholes to enter. In view of this fundamental flaw in the law, let us not punish the tax evader. Let us support him with simple and easy tax laws. Let us win his appreciation for a common good.