There is no way to tell whether America’s largest multinational companies – the Googles, Apples and Ciscos of the world – are in fact American-owned, a surprising gap in financial reporting that has important implications for U.S. international tax policy, according to new research by a University of Pennsylvania Law School professor.
The research by Chris William Sanchirico suggests that the extent of foreign ownership of U.S. multinationals is unknown even to the companies themselves, due to the way many shares of stock are purchased and registered.
Sanchirico, the Samuel A. Blank Professor of Law, is co-director of the Center for Tax Law & Policy. His research paper As American As Apple Inc. was recently issued by the Penn Law Institute for Law & Economics.
Interesting article that highlights an intriguing issue with America’s largest multinationals: who benefits from the tax benefits the corporations receive? Since it is often not clear who owns stock in these corps and the businesses take advantage of US tax law to move profits offshore, any sort of tax break given for repatriating those profits may actually have more benefit to foreign than US stock holders.