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Offshore tax havens cost small businesses thousands, study says

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Offshore tax havens cost the average New Jersey small business owner nearly $4,000 in taxes each year, according to a new report.

The New Jersey Public Interest Research Group and New Jersey Citizen Action held a press conference today in Asbury Park to release a new report on offshore tax dodging.

The groups said offshore tax havens help corporations and wealthy individuals avoid about $150 billion in taxes each year, about $90 billion of which comes on the corporation side.

Of that, New Jersey loses about $2.8 billion annually.

Robert Menendez

"There is nothing fair about hiding income abroad to avoid responsibility to the community that protects you, educates your children, provides the infrastructure you need to travel safely and the freedom and constitutional rights this nation provides," said Sen. Robert Menendez (D-Hoboken), who joined the groups at the press conference, along with Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch), Asbury Park Mayor Ed Johnson and Beckman's Newsstands owner Jerome Beckman.

Tax dodging costs the average New Jersey resident about $1,260 per year, the report found. Peter Skopec, program associate at NJPIRG, said tax dodging isn't a victimless crime.

"With the nation facing such serious budget challenges, it's a no-brainer that we need to close these loopholes that let large corporations avoid paying what they should," Skopec said.

The groups are pushing for passage of a federal bill, dubbed the "Stop Unjustified Tax Loopholes Act of 2013," which aims to eliminate the incentives for companies to shift profits overseas.

Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@njbiz.com

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