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Both supporters and critics of the current tax advantages enjoyed by U.S. multinational corporations (MNCs) bolster their arguments with appeals to patriotism: the MNCs and their political supporters argue that allowing inversions or other similar arrangements and instituting another tax holiday for “repatriating” overseas earnings are good for the American economy as a whole; opponents condemn these tax advantages as unpatriotic in depriving the U.S. of enormous sums of needed revenue. But where, precisely, is the “home” to which profits held offshore return? For many purposes, home is where the shareholders are. Determining ownership of U.S. MNCs such as Apple and GE, however, is extremely hard to do. Appeals for policies that promote U.S. competitiveness by presuming U.S. ownership of U.S. incorporated parent companies rest, in the end, on very little.
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corporate, tax, multinational, MNCs, inversions, tax holiday, repatriating
PPI, Penn Wharton, "As American as Apple Inc.: Corporate Ownership and the Fight for Tax Reform" (2016). Wharton Public Policy Initiative Issue Briefs. 8.