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You are here News Economy Microsoft 'used offshore units to avoid paying $4.5bn in taxes', Senate claims

Microsoft 'used offshore units to avoid paying $4.5bn in taxes', Senate claims

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Microsoft Technology giants Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard used offshore units to shield billions of dollars from US taxes by taking advantage of loopholes in the tax code, a US Senate panel has said.

Describing tax avoidance as rampant in the technology sector, the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said tech companies used intellectual property, royalties and license fees in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands to skirt US taxes.

"The hi-tech industry is probably the number one user of these offshore entities to transfer intellectual property," Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the panel, said at a news conference. "The tax practices and gimmicks range from egregious to dubious validity."

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