Paid your taxes yet, you good little worker bee? That’s a good time to look mournfully at the numbers and wave bye-bye to that 30 percent of your salary. Go-getting self-employed entrepreneurs (bless your souls), tack another 15 percent onto that for Social Security and Medicare. Oh, what’s that? You’re really smart about deductions, like that $5,000 you can knock off your income per year for child care (which costs you more like $15,000 a year, but whatever)? And you donate to NPR and keep track of mileage incurred on the way to your doctors’ appointments? And you know you can deduct the few hundred bucks your tax preparer charges you?
Yeah, you’re still pretty screwed.
You should be more like big giant company. They use a variety of crafty ploys with funky names like the Double Irish and the Dutch Sandwich to send their IP and royalties and (most importantly) income abroad where Uncle Sam can’t touch it. And it’s a lot of money—US companies overall are stashing $1.17 trillion offshore and about half of that ($462 billion) is tech company dough. If they paid 30 percent on those earnings, same as you do, they’d be able to completely fund California K-12 public schools for almost two years. But they don’t pay taxes on that money because they’ve got a few magic tricks up their sleeves. We made a video to show you exactly what they’re up to.