The Google Culture is a big supporter of the Obama Culture except when it comes to taxes. According to a report, “Google Inc. (GOOG) avoided about $2 billion in worldwide income taxes in 2011 by shifting $9.8 billion in revenues into a Bermuda shell company, almost double the total from three years before, filings show.”
Google isn’t the only left-leaning American company working hard to avoid taxes. “At a hearing last month in the U.K., members of Parliament pressed executives from Google, Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) and Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) to explain why they don’t pay more taxes there. . . . In the wake of the parliamentary hearing, the House of Commons issued a report last week declaring that multinationals ‘do not pay their fair share’ of tax.”
French actor Gerard Depardieu has bought a home and set up legal residence in the small town of Nechin, Belgium. Daniel Senesael, Nechin’s mayor, says that Depardieu was “lured by the food, the people, the lifestyle — and lower tax rates than back home.”
The tax rate in Belgium is only low relative to France. Top earners in France will have to pay “75 percent over the first €1 million of annual income. Belgium’s top rate is 50 percent.”
Eduardo Saverin, one of the original founders of Facebook, was accused of renouncing his American citizenship in order to avoid taxes of up to $67 million.
Saverin has lived in Singapore since 2009 and renounced his U.S. citizenship in 2011.
Saverin has not done one illegal thing. He took advantage of the tax laws as they are written. He should be applauded for his foresight, and American taxing policy should be condemned as legal theft.
George Lucas, the creator of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, sold his company LucasFilms to Disney for $4.05 billion in cash and stock in order to avoid higher taxes that are almost certain to come in 2013.
“That Lucas struck a deal in 2012 may be no accident either, advisers say. Long-term capital gains tax from the sale of assets held more than one year are taxed at a rate of 15% for investors in the 25% income tax bracket or above (Lucas’s level), and zero for investors in the 10% or 15% bracket. Those rates are set to jump to 20% and 10%, respectively in January. ‘He probably wanted to take advantage of the lower rate on long-term capital gain while it’s certain,’ says Bill Smith, managing director at CBIZ MHM, a national accounting and professional services provider.”
Lucas is a one-percenter of the one-percent. He is also a big Obama supporter. Lucas said the following about Obama in 2008: “We have a hero in the making back in the United States today because we have a new candidate for president of the United States, Barack Obama.”
Lucas is said to have surrounded himself with the best legal and tax-avoidance minds in the country.
I suspect that the Democrats won’t say a thing about Lucas because he is a big donor to the Democrats and supports the President.