After price-gouging sick Americans for its pharmaceutical drugs, Pfizer plans to slip under the IRS’s radar and dodge an estimated $35 billion tax bill by merging with a foreign company (a $160 billion buyout).
Pfizer has connects with biotech giant Monsanto – another company known for pulling circus acts in court and Congress in order to fleece tax payers. Pfizer’s shareholders are expected to vote on a merger with competitor, Allergan, based in Ireland, which would avert the company’s tax bill significantly.
With a self-proclaimed research and development budget of $7.1 billion (based on 2003 data), Pfizer became one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical companies. Despite its US earnings in excess of $49 billion – actually below analysts’ estimates, the company is playing some interesting shell games to try to avoid paying its tax bill.
Certainly plumping up the faces of celebrities and those flush with disposable income is more important than say, building schools, financing renewable energy sources, repairing bridges, or lowering costs on prescriptions for Americans who can’t afford to pay $9,850 a month for a breast-cancer treatment drug.
The company has stashed its cash offshore even after the Treasury Department sent the company a 2014 notice to pay up.
Here’s the kicker though, Pfizer wants to stay in New York, but claim it is based in another country. That means the company would enjoy all that America provides them – including legal protections for its lucrative drug patents, as well as $1 billion a year in government purchases from Medicare and Medicaid, but not pay the taxes the rest of us have to.
More than 100,000 people have already signed a petition to try to force Obama’s hand in keeping Pfizer’s tax money in the country, but many people are still unaware that Pfizer is playing these kind of dirty corporate games.
Americans for Tax Fairness note that Pfizer is trying to dodge its tax bill while raising prices on dozens of prescription drugs to ten times their current prices.
Featured image sourced and modified: AP Photo/Richard Drew // Yahoo Finance
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.