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Fair Share Calls for Congress to push back on Trump’s tax myths

Fair Share responded to President Donald Trump's joint address to Congress by highlighting the danger to misrepresenting the challenges facing the U.S. tax code.

If we want to base our debate on tax reform on reality and fairness, we need to correct the record. Last night, we heard the president repeat a common myth about our corporate tax code -- that American companies pay the highest corporate taxes in the world. In fact, the average effective tax rate for U.S. companies is 27.1%, which is below average for other major economies, which average 27.8%.

Our loophole-ridden corporate tax code is rigged for a select set of big companies and their armies of tax lawyers. That's where the American corporate tax system really leads the way. Loopholes allow a few companies to pay almost nothing while others pay 35% or more. We are deeply concerned with any tax reform that instead of evening the playing field simply increases the rewards for companies who use accounting tricks to avoid taxes by stashing profits overseas.

There is an estimated $2.5 trillion in profits from U.S. companies stashed offshore, which, thanks to loopholes in the law, allows companies to indefinitely defer the taxes they own on that profit. Most of that money, 66 percent, is held by just 30 companies.

Any tax reform that doesn’t address the loopholes is a sham. Let’s start with the premise that everyone should pay a fair share, and everyone should play by the same rules.