PolitiFact Wisconsin: Corporate tax rate keeping money from U.S.?

Posted at 6:46 PM, Sep 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-15 19:46:13-04

Three trillion dollars is a lot of cash. But are American companies parking that much cash in other countries because tax rates are too high here at home? 

PolitiFact Wisconsin answers that question. 

Republicans are looking to cut the corporate tax rate which stands at 35 percent right now. 

House Speaker Paul Ryan says the higher tax rate is preventing U.S. companies that make profits in other countries from bringing that cash back home to America.      

"He says that we have about $3 trillion in what he calls trapped cash overseas as a result of US tax laws," said Tom Kertscher with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 

Ryan has made the claim a number of times. We're talking about big multi-national companies like Microsoft and Apple with billions in cash overseas. 

PolitiFact Wisconsin says Ryan is reasonably close on the $3 trillion number and the number has nearly tripled in less than 10 years.  

"The $3 trillion in overseas profits is not literally trapped," Kertscher said," the American companies can bring that money back to the United States."

PolitiFact Wisconsin says some American companies do repatriate or bring the money back home but they have to pay U.S. taxes on it.

Ryan hopes more of that money can be repatriated if taxes are cut.   

"There are roughly $3 trillion in foreign profits that have not been brought back to the parent companies back here in America because the American corporate tax rate is 35 percent," Kertscher said.

PolitiFact Wisconsin rated Ryan's claim Mostly True.