A consumer group is calling on Illinois’ congressional delegation to support legislation that would close tax loopholes for big business. The Illinois Public Interest Research Group says closing the loopholes would even the score when it comes to paying taxes. According to a PIRG report, Illinois taxpayers in 2011 shouldered an extra $508 each to make up for revenues lost from corporations and wealthy individuals shifting income to offshore tax havens.
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That figure is based on a congressional study which found that tax haven abuse costs the United States Treasury $100 billion each year in tax revenues. The report also finds that based on the $60 billion multinational corporations avoid in taxes each year, small businesses must pay an average of $2,116 each in additional taxes. While he isn’t blaming big companies for following the tax code, Naperville small business owner Mike Nikodem says the tax code is flawed. “When we see that a company like [Chicago-based] Boeing, with $9.7 billion in profits between 2008 and 2010, paid an effective tax rate of minus-1.8 percent, we know that there is something wrong and totally unfair in the U.S. tax system,” said Nikodem, who owns Great Harvest Bakery.
Nikodem, who employs 14 people, said his businesses tax liability for 2011 was 19.2 percent of his net. “America’s built on fairness, treat everyone the same,” Nikodem said. “Whether you have a bakery with 14 people in Naperville or whether you have a huge corporation with 100,000 employees, treat us all the same.” Bills in both the U.S. House and Senate would close a number of offshore tax loopholes. Illinois PIRG is calling on Illinois members to support the legislation.