Six of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies had a combined “tax gap” of more than $100 billion this decade, according to a new analysis.
Fair Tax Mark, a British organization that certifies businesses for good tax conduct, assessed global tax payments from Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google and Microsoft between 2010 and 2019. The companies are sometimes collectively referred to as the “Silicon Six.”
The research, published Monday, analyzed their 10-K filings, which are financial forms submitted by businesses to the U.S. government.
It looked at tax provisions — the amount companies set aside in their financial reports to pay taxes — and compared those to the amounts that were actually handed over to the government, referred to as cash taxes. Over the decade, the gap between the Silicon Six’s provisions and the taxes they actually paid reached $100.2 billion, researchers found.
The report noted that scrutiny of big corporations’ tax payments often focused solely on tax provisions, which was not always the final amount received by governments. It also claimed that profits continued to be “shifted to tax havens, especially Bermuda, Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.”
Researchers said the bulk of the shortfall “almost certainly arose outside the United States,” with foreign tax charges amounting to just 8.4% of the profit the companies made overseas during the decade.