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Illinois PIRG
The Rock River Times
Dev Gowda, Illinois PIRG

"Walgreens’ impending acquisition of the Swiss pharmaceutical company Alliance Boots opens a legal loophole that would allow Walgreens to become a “foreign” company for tax purposes. Known as a “tax inversion,” the maneuver has no real business purpose other than to avoid taxes."

"This move could potentially cost more than $580 million in taxes annually starting in 2016, rising to about $1 billion a year in 2020, based on estimates from three prominent equity research firms. That adds up to more than $4 billion in lost taxes over five years, according to a new report by Americans for Tax Fairness and Change to Win Retail Initiatives."

"To put this sum in context, $4 billion would be enough to pay for 1-1/2 years of prescriptions for the entire veterans’ population served by the V.A. or for 3.5 million children to have health care under the Children’s Health Insurance Program."

"Avoiding taxes didn’t start with Walgreens. According to the report “Closing the Billion Dollar Loophole” by Illinois PIRG, every year, corporations avoid paying more than $100 billion in state and federal income taxes by using accounting tricks to make U.S. profits appear on the books in offshore tax havens. Last year, in the midst of a budget crisis, Illinois alone lost $1.5 billion from the abuse of offshore tax loopholes."

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