Ask Microsoft to Pay Taxes on Foreign Income

Take the high road

Target: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

Goal: Return overseas profits to the U.S. and pay taxes that come due

In order to fix the U.S. budget deficit the government has to increase revenue. Unfortunately, the tax code does not allow the treasury to collect taxes off of money that is held overseas. Currently, Microsoft is shielding $66 billion in profits abroad. It should bring this money to the U.S. and pay taxes, which benefits the economy and business as well. Urge Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer to do right by the country and Washington State, where the company is based.

This idea is even supported by an influential analyst at Wall Street Rick Sherlund at Nomura Group, who follows the company. He figures that $46 billion will benefit shareholders through dividends or stock buybacks after Microsoft paid $20 billion in taxes on the foreign income. If the company does that, Americans would feel more confident about the company. It should be noted that the U.S. remains Microsoft’s largest market. Among the main clients of Microsoft are government agencies that, after an influx of cash, would be able to expand their purchasing power. That would ultimately benefit Americans at large, who would show gratitude to the company. Taking the high road and paying taxes may bolster Microsoft’s bottom line by accelerating the stock’s recent momentum, says Mr. Sherlund.

It will also look good politically. Since President Obama announced a push to revive American manufacturing, Apple and Google were taking steps to start building some gadgets in the U.S., while Microsoft can get ahead of the “buy American” game and pay its taxes. Perhaps Mr. Ballmer can look at how things are going in Microsoft’s home of Washington State, where the government is scrambling to fund basic education, health care, and maintain infrastructure. This tax money can come in handy. Sign below if you agree that Microsoft should bring money stored overseas to the U.S. and pay taxes that the country so desperately needs.


Dear Mr. Ballmer,

As a recent article in the Seattle Times points out, Microsoft is keeping $66 billion in profits abroad. This money is not subject to tax collection in the U.S. and does not benefit shareholders. Meanwhile, our country is going through a tough economic time. To bring the budget deficit down, the government needs revenue. Returning Microsoft’s profits home and paying taxes on them would benefit the country and the company.

Rick Sherlund at Nomura Group, an expert on Microsoft and a Wall Street insider, urges the company to do the right thing. Taxes paid on the company’s profits will float through government agencies, which are some of the main consumers of Microsoft products, and the U.S. remains its largest market. This move would result in higher stock prices in the recent momentum, suggests Mr. Sherlund. While Apple and Google are moving forward to start producing some gadgets in the U.S., Microsoft can get ahead of the “buy American” game and pay its taxes. That would benefit the economy and the job market specifically because new jobs will undoubtedly be added.

Paying taxes on foreign income is good policy both for Microsoft and the U.S. Shareholders will not be disappointed and the company’s revenue will increase as confidence on the financial markets rise. Please do right by Microsoft and the American people and bring profits that are currently abroad.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Mr. Nixter via Flickr

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One Comment

  1. J Davidson says:

    After all the charity work they claim to do globally, they can afford to pay their fair share of taxes for the benefit of our country.

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