Did Microsoft break the law?

Is it interesting that when a “big bad corporation” does something to save on taxes being paid, we as the general public end up in rage.

I truly find it humorous.  We, at Liberty Tax, spend countless hours each year trying to find ways to save the taxpayer on their taxes, yet when a corporation, who certainly has more loopholes, makes a few strategic moves to save on their taxes, the general public, media, bloggers and the like go crazy.

Has Microsoft broken the law?Recently Microsoft Corp and Hewlett-Packard were accused of shielding money in offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes.

Take for instance this leading paragraph from NBC News: “Microsoft Corp and Hewlett-Packard Co used offshore units to shield billions of dollars from U.S. taxes by taking advantage of loopholes and stretching the limit of the tax code, a U.S. Senate panel said on Thursday.”

Interesting, the panel admits that there are loopholes and that the tax code was stretched.  How is this any different that you or I making an IRA contribution on April 15 prior to paying our taxes each year?  We are within the guidelines of doing this and we are saving how much money we are going to pay on our taxes by making an IRA contribution.

The big difference: You and I versus the corporation.  You and I will avoid dollars of taxes being paid while the corporations will avoid paying millions or billions.

Now the Microsoft/HP tax situation gets a little sketchy in the accusations.  Items that I will not get into and it may prove to be fraudulent, however my issue is how we, as the public get our panties in a bunch over issues when there are a couple of added zeros at the end of the dollar amount in the point of reference. 

Money, when someone has a lot of it, gets a bad rap.  I think it is important for us to remember that money is amoral.  It doesn’t decide if it is good or bad as it just exists.  The beholder of the money is the one who decides whether or not they are going to do good things with it. 

I do want to clear one point up before you blow up my email box.  I’m not a fan of offshore accounts and know that the money would be better spent/saved here in the United States.  This is not a discussion about whether or not offshore accounts are morally correct.

What are you opinions?  Has Microsoft/HP broken the law?

In the meantime, if you are ready to schedule some time to see how we can help you strategically plan your taxes, come on in and see us!

David Rocci 

 

Disclaimer: Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.

 

Posted To: Tax Rants by David Rocci By: David Rocci On: Sunday, September 23, 2012
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