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Elizabeth Warren Asks Congress to Crack Down on ‘Corporate Tax Dodgers’

Democratic National Convention: Day OneDemocratic National Convention: Day One
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)Photograph by Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wants Congress to follow the European Commission’s lead when it comes to taxes.

Of course she’s referring to the Commission’s decision to slap Apple (AAPL) with a $14.5 billion tax bill last month. The decision was inspired by an investigation that revealed Apple’s deal with Irish state authorities violated EU tax laws, allowing Apple to attribute sales to an office that didn’t actually exist for 25 years. More importantly, it allowed the tech giant to pay a tax rate of just .005% in 2014.

Both Apple and Ireland have vowed to appeal the ruling, which followed several high-profile judgments in Europe against major U.S. companies like Starbucks (SBUX) and McDonald’s (MCD).

Now Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook, along with other corporations, are putting pressure on Congress to reduce U.S. corporate tax rates in order to incentivize companies to repatriate funds sheltered overseas.

In response, Warren published an op-ed in the New York Times on Thursday that takes aim at her fellow federal lawmakers in Washington, telling them it’s time to make “corporate tax dodgers” like Apple pay their “fair share.”


“For years, corporate tax dodgers have taken full advantage of all the benefits of being American companies, while searching out every possible way to avoid paying American taxes,” Warren wrote. “Now that other leading countries are starting to get tough on tax enforcement, these tax dodgers suddenly want to move their money back to the United States.”

She continued: “When they do, they should pay their fair share, just as working families and small businesses have been all along.”

In her letter, Warren proposed lawmakers set a permanent higher corporate tax rate, incentivize corporations to create and keep jobs in America, and level their playing field with small businesses, which are less likely to stash money overseas.

“[Foreign tax shelters] put small businesses at a competitive disadvantage as they end up shouldering more of the burden of paying for education, infrastructure, research, the military and everything else our nation relies on to succeed,” Warren wrote. “We have the leverage to tighten our tax code because these companies want what America offers: the world’s wealthiest consumers, the world’s best work force, the world’s most reliable legal system and the world’s deepest capital markets.”