Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Inside the US Government Enables Tax Escapism

USA location map

Summary: Microsoft's former GM Ross Hunter and Microsoft's former CFO Greg Maffei turn political and Microsoft continues to dodge tax in the mid-west

The previous post gave an example of Microsoft influence in the US government and the following batch of stories ought to convincingly present an example of another Microsoft employee who intersects with the government.

Jeff Reifman, who used to work for Microsoft [1, 2, 3], writes about State Representative Ross Hunter, who also used to work for Microsoft and is now acting as an apologist for Microsoft's tax dodge. Here is Reifman's latest response to Hunter:

For the past six months, I've created a billion dollar public relations problem for Microsoft. Rep. Hunter's responded by essentially proposing to grant amnesty to Microsoft for its past tax practices (through the "field audit" sentence) and to redefine the royalty tax down (from Worldwide revenue to Washington-sales only) going forward. I've never met Rep. Hunter, but these actions raise red flags for me. I hope that they do for you as well.

In other news, Microsoft will receive even more tax breaks.

Gregoire said she'd spoken to Microsoft Corp. and other companies about their desire to build new server farms if the tax break were enacted, and predicted at least three of the facilities would be built soon.

We wrote about this before, but the article above is new.

Also, from Forbes:

What The Top U.S. Companies Pay In Taxe


As a result, figures tax economist Martin Sullivan, companies are keeping some $28 billion a year out of the clutches of the U.S. Treasury by engaging in so-called transfer pricing arrangements, where, say, Microsoft's overseas subsidiaries license software to its U.S. parent company in return for handsome royalties (that get taxed at those lower overseas rates).

Microsoft was found guilty of tax evasion, which is a crime. That happened in India not so long ago.

Going back to Reifman's site, here we have Representative Ross Hunter (apparently also a de facto Microsoft representative) denying bias.

The article does a great job of giving all sides of the issue their say. Representative Ross Hunter, a 17 year veteran of Microsoft, told TechFlash: "We don’t think we’d win a court case on this,". In response, Microsoft Tax Dodge publisher Jeff Reifman says, "The substance of what they're doing is tax avoidance."

Here is the estimated death toll of Microsoft's refusal to pay tax. It is finally getting more media attention.

If Microsoft weren't minimizing its taxes with its Nevada subsidiary, would there be more money available to fund this program and save lives - it's very likely so.

As the pressure grows and some people in Washington become angry at Microsoft, all we find are Microsoft PR moves that are advertised free of charge by the Seattle press [1, 2, 3], some of which Microsoft is funding too. Needless to say, Microsoft's biggest boosters join the PR party, pretending that Microsoft has kindly donated to the state of Washington. This little stunt has paid off in PR value, but as Reifman points out, giving $125,000 to a state where you avoided about $1,000,000,000 in tax is a tad insulting and petty.

Washington State has a $2.8 billion deficit. Its treasurer has said the state will be insolvent by the fall if a budget deal is not reached. We have two major highways on the verge of collapse. Over the last thirteen years, we estimate Microsoft has avoided $757 million in royalty taxes through its Nevada subsidiary. Microsoft's $125,000 fireworks donation is equivalent to one day's interest of its tax debt (calculated at 6 percent). So, we just have one question for Bill Gates: where's the other $756.75 million?

More clarifications from Reifman:

Since 1997, for all of the thirteen years of Microsoft's tax dodge, its Washington Headquarters, its Washington corporation's co-ownership of Microsoft Licensing GP of Nevada and the four Microsoft employees based in Washington registered as officers of Microsoft Management LLC of Nevada (the other co-owner of Microsoft Licensing GP) all represent systematic and continuous contact between Microsoft of Washington and its tax dodging Nevada corporation's intangible assets.

Here is a new article about Greg Maffei, who came from Microsoft's CFO position and will possibly become Colorado's governor. That would be worse than Ross Hunter moving from Microsoft to politics, a venue where he helps Microsoft avoid paying tax. Maffei is a financial type.

Recent Techrights' Posts

Links 27/05/2024: Chatbots Generate Hateful Output, TPM Performance Scrutinised
Links for the day
David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH) Realises What He Should Have Decades Ago
seeing that DHH is moving away from Apple is kind of a big deal
In the Pacific (Mostly Islands Around Oceania) GNU/Linux Grew a Lot
Microsoft cannot compete fairly
StatCounter (or statCounter) Has Been Broken for Nearly 24 Hours. Who Benefits? Microsoft.
StatCounter is broken right now and has been broken for nearly 24 hours already
Reinvigorating the Voice of GNU/Linux Users (Not Companies Whose Chiefs Don't Even Use GNU/Linux!)
Scott Ruecker has just announced his return
"Tech" in the Context of Even Bigger Issues
"Tech" (or technology) activism is important; but there's a bigger picture
A Decade of In-Depth Coverage of Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO)
The world needs transparency and sunlight
Delayed Series About Dr. Richard Stallman
A lot of the attacks on him boil down to petty things
Hopefully Not Sunset for StatCounter
We hope that StatCounter will be back soon.
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 26, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, May 26, 2024
Links 27/05/2024: Self-Publishing, Patent Monopolies, and Armed Conflicts
Links for the day
Gemini Links 27/05/2024: Tethering Connection and PFAs
Links for the day
Imagine Canada Enabling Rapists to Harass Their (Rape) Victims
This analogy is applicable because abusers are empowered against the abused
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting My Old "Tweets"
This was basically an act of vandalism no better and no worse than UEFI restricted boot
Links 26/05/2024: Google 'Search' Morphing Into Disinformation Factory, Discussion of Maze of the Prison Industrial Complex
Links for the day
A Toast to Tux Machines
Food ready for the party, no photos yet...
IBM/Red Hat Failing to Meet Its WARN Obligations in NC (STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA), or Perhaps It's Constantly Delaying the Layoffs
IBM isn't named even once
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 25, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, May 25, 2024
GNU/Linux in Greenland
The sharp increases for GNU/Linux started last summer
The Sheer Absurdity of the EPO's Career System Explained by EPO Staff
"Staff representation has previously pointed this out to management, and the career system has been the reason for several industrial actions and litigation cases initiated by SUEPO."
[Meme] Productivity Champ Nellie Simon: It Takes Me 3+ Weeks to Write 6 Paragraphs
Congrats to Nellie Simon!
It Took EPO Management 3+ Weeks to Respond to a Letter About an Urgent Problem (Defunding of EPO Staff)
The funny thing about it is that Nellie Simon expects examiners to work day and night (which is illegal) while she herself takes 3+ weeks to write a 1-page letter
Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) in The Hague Taking Action to Rectify Cuts to Families of Workers
they "are active in challenging this measure via the legal system"
Links 25/05/2024: Microsoft Adds More DRM (Screenshot Blocking), Another Microsoft Outage Takes Down Everything
Links for the day
Gemini Links 25/05/2024: "Bill Smugs" and OpenBSD Mirror Over Tor / I2P
Links for the day
Microsoft #1 in Gaming Layoffs, Laid Off Workers Receive Another Insult From Microsoft
Many of them never chose to work for Microsoft
In New Caledonia Windows is Now Below 30% (It Used to be Over 90%)
Microsoft's Windows absolutely collapsing and the measures are relatively stable
Forget About India's and Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons and Armament Race, They Need to Abscond Windows and Microsoft (Security Swiss Cheese)
Both countries would be wise to remove Windows as soon as possible, irrespective of the local party politics
statCounter: GNU/Linux Rose From 0.2% to Over 3% in Pakistan
GNU/Linux "proper" (i.e. not ChromeOS) has the lion's share
Red tape: farmer concerns eerily similar to Debian suicide cluster deaths
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Galway street artists support social media concerns
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 25/05/2024: Section 230 and Right of Publicity Violations by Microsoft (Which Attacks Performance Artists)
Links for the day
[Meme] No Microsoft
For fun!
Microsoft Windows Falls to New Lows in Poland
It may mean people delete Windows from relatively new PC
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: An Introduction
The campaign of coercion (or worse) started in 2021
The "D" in Debian Stands for Dictatorship That Extends to Censorship at DNS Level
Of course the registrar, which charged for domains until 2025, just went along with it
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Getting Stacked by Microsoft
it lets Microsoft write policies
The Parasitic Nature of Microsoft Contracts
Stop feeding the beast
Gemini Links 25/05/2024: Emacs Windows 2000 Screenshots and Little Languages
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 24, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, May 24, 2024