What can be the quarrel with social networking media mogul LinkedIn for effectively nullifying its US Federal and State tax bill for the last three years?
Especially in circumstances where LinkedIn’s tax savings are estimated to be in the order of US$35.8M and based on the company accessing a well worn Federal tax rule — which some rather inflammatorily refer to as a corporate tax ‘loophole’.
Was the company supposed to ignore the mammoth potential tax savings provided by the rule which allowed the company -and others like Amazon and Facebook- to record as an expense the difference in value when its employees exercise stock options?
I don’t think so!
As a member of the G20 and party to the renewed agenda against multinationals and unsurprisingly non-US tax shelters, one wonders whether the US will spare some energy in reviewing this and other tax deductions, the vilification of which serves only to carry the debate on tax avoidance and evasion in a decidedly unhelpful direction.
Perhaps that is entirely the point in focussing on the tax saving made rather than the source of the bounty.