Obama to tax offshore profits

When Walgreen, the US drugstore chain, announced it’s intension of acquiring Boots the Chemists, part of the plan was to shift its headquarters to Switzerland. This caused fury in Obama’s White House, and they lambasted Walgreen for being another US company wanting to embark on the disloyal path of ‘Inversion’.

Get ready for an outflow of American companies. President Obama aims to tax US companies on their cash held abroad, estimated at $2 trillion. His budget proposes companies pay a 14% one-off levy on their cash held offshore, followed by a 19% tax on future profits. Apple, Microsoft and General Electric would face multi-billion dollar bills.

According to Andrew Hunter, an economist at consultancy Capital Economics, the one-off tax could raise at least $238bn this round,and up to $600bn over the next 10 years.

Fat chance. They won’t raise a fraction of this amount. These taxes never do! When the going gets tough, the tough get going. As we predict in Flight of the Golden Geese, companies with be joining high net worth individuals, and bolt for the exit. As for `Inversion`? It’s only just begun among established companies, and all future US entrepreneurs with any sense will be setting up abroad.

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