Stop special perks like U.S. Embassy parties for corporate deserters

U.S. multinational companies that simply changed their addresses on file, just to dodge taxes to Uncle Sam, are still enjoying various perks of being an American company. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, perks for these corporate deserters include parties thrown for them at U.S. Embassies and invitations to accompany trade missions:

One company was celebrated at a U.S. embassy. Some traveled the world with U.S. officials, promoting products with the imprimatur of the American government despite moving their legal headquarters outside the U.S. and cutting their taxes. Still others continue to receive U.S. government contracts.

Medtronic PLC, which moved its address from Minnesota to Ireland in January 2015, sent executives on Commerce Department trade missions to Brazil in August and to Peru in March of this year. Ingersoll Rand PLC participated in a trade mission to Turkey, years after it put its address in Ireland. Aon PLC, the insurance broker and human-resources firm that moved from Chicago to London in April 2012, celebrated its success in the Romanian market at the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest later that year at a reception hosted by the U.S. ambassador.

These practices are galling, not just because corporate profits are soaring, but because they also incentivize more flagrant corporate tax-dodging and indirectly penalize the American businesses that are still doing right by America. If U.S. corporations want to renounce U.S. citizenship just to avoid their tax responsibilities to the country that makes their success possible, they shouldn’t get to keep enjoying such privileges either. The Obama Administration should examine which perks can be stopped by executive order and then do so.

For more information, see “Firms That Left U.S. Still Enjoy Perks,” The Wall Street Journal (2016).