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Economics

Inversions Are Often Last Stop for Avoiding U.S. Taxes

Corrected

The surge in U.S. companies avoiding taxes by taking a foreign address has been condemned by President Barack Obama and stirred a policy debate in Congress. What’s often overlooked is that these “inversions” are typically a final step in a hopscotch of multinational tax dodging.

Many companies invert after years of avoiding billions of dollars in income taxes by routing profits offshore that should have been reported in the U.S., according to Internal Revenue Service filings in tax court. Shifting their legal address abroad makes it easier for them to tap the cash without paying taxes on it.