(Reuters) U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged Congress to take action to stop U.S. companies from taking advantage of tax loopholes that allow them to avoid paying taxes.
“When companies exploit loopholes like this… it sticks the rest of us with the tab and it makes hard-working Americans feel like the deck is stacked against them,” Obama told reporters at the White House, adding that wealthy corporations and individuals should not be “gaming the system.”
Obama, a Democrat, has called repeatedly for action by the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress on tax-avoiding corporate inversions, which lowers companies’ tax bills by allowing them to redomicile overseas even though their core operations and management usually remain in the United States. So far, lawmakers have done little.
The U.S. Treasury Department took more decisive actions to crack down on inversions late on Monday, that imperils a number of proposed mergers, including Pfizer Inc’s $160 billion agreement to buy Dublin-based Allergan Plc.
“I want to be clear. While the Treasury Department’s actions will make it more difficult… to exploit this particular corporate inversions loophole, only Congress can close it for good,” Obama said.
(Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir; Editing by Bernard Orr)