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back to article Ballmer clashes with Obama over US tax rules

Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer has threatened to move more US jobs overseas if President Barack Obama refuses to change his stance on ending tax breaks on foreign earnings. Big Steve told Bloomberg yesterday that US tax rates made jobs “more expensive.” "We’re better off taking lots of people and moving them out of the US as …

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Bah!

Almost as if Microsoft won't offshore those jobs anyway.

It's easy for these companies. All they have to do is reregister in the country they prefer to do business in. Of course, that would make them vulnerable to the laws of that country, and the US wouldn't be obliged to put its still considerable weight behind these operations when things stop going according to their masters wishes.

If you are that unpatriotic Steve Balmer, get the eff out and stay out, you America-Hating Git. You'll *love* India. they get more rain than Seattle does, and more Sun in between than California. Best of both worlds really. Or there's China, where copies of your products have ten times the market penetration as the real thing. Your patents will be safe there for sure, and if they're not, well, at least you can take pride in that the copies are of Microsoft software and not the rubbishy Apple rubbish. Or there's Europe wher all things Microsoft are so very popular. Pity about the lawsuits, but you can't have everything. Perhaps Russia?

Yes, bugger off soonest and take sharepoint, passport and vista with you, gitface.

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White House Chimp / MSN / US Taxes

All American companies with any common sense would move

their operations offshore to escape the greedy islamic socialist

clutches of our White House Chimp and his supporting cast

of monkeys in Congress. Between this new "Sheriff of Nottingham",

Crooked Politicians, Supportive liberial Media, Labor Unions and

the Contingency Fee Tort system in the USA, America is finished

as a world economic power.

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Gates Horns

Finally, some sense

Thank you prez for one of the few policies I can agree with here. Screw you MS. None of the 1000s of unemployed American IT professionals will shed a tear for the money you'll be losing.

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Pirate

Americans with ludicrous sense of ideological

I'm continually amazed the way Amercians glibly say that Obama is a 'socialist'. As far as I can tell, this definition of socialist means nothing other than that he is using public money differently to his predecessor. As far as I can tell the Bush administration was very happy to use public money - mostly on the arms industry.

Oh yes, if Obama does anything at all the corporations (particularly News International) don't like, that's socialism too. War is Peace.

Outside the USA, socialism - as an ideological position - implies a belief in bottom-up organisation - even if the reality has been quite different in many cases. (The third "S" in USSR being the most notorious, just like the second 'D' in DDR might have undermined the word 'democracy' - ah but we in the enlightened free world want to use that D too, so it is 'untainted'. yeah right.). Having a few guys at the top making all the decisions is an anti-socialist and anti-democratic position. There is no real difference between Bush and Obama on that score.

BTW the comments here about grey markets were spot on. I think Ballmer is mostly just putting on the show for the shareholders. The simple fact is that tax havens compromise globalisation. You can't have your cake and eat it.

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Gates Horns

effing multinationals

@David 23:26 GMT

What an excellent idea, but you are missing one important point, all these Johny foreigner companies created a better, cheaper product than the original 'merkin product, and probabally no secret backdoors for the NSA. So I for one would welcome such a situation.

The evil empire's Irish subsidiary, Microsoft Ireland Operations Ltd (MIOL), which is responsible for the software company’s distribution and logistics in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, had a turnover of €11.3 billion, paid corporation tax of €63.5 million and generated a pretax profit of €477 million in the 12 months to the end of June 2008.

This figure is down from the 2007 figures because MicroShit has reorganised (i.e. found a tax loophole) and has another company in Ireland, Microsoft Ireland Research (MIR), which allegedly employs only three or four microserfs, conveniently, MIR is an unlimited company which is not required to file accounts.

In 2008 MIOL’s expenses increased by almost €3 billion to €10 billion. A significant portion of this is accounted for by royalty payments to MIR associated with the products it shipped. MIR then pays a dividend to Micro$oft in 'merkin land.

So what happens is that MicroCrap sells sell a copy of Orifice in France, ships it from Germany, makes a profit in Ireland, and a tax loss in USA-land on the development cost, but a profit in dividends.

And so we continue to see the pigopolists view of the world, its only a global economy if they can get paid in the first world but pay taxes in the third world.

Way to go Obama, now, where's the evil ballmer icon

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Founder / CEO

Wait... You mean Ballmer is upset because MS just might actually have to pay the taxes they owe--taxes that they, along with hundreds (thousands?) of businesses, have managed to ignore. Isn't the prospect of missed tax revenues a key foundation of the Business Software Alliance's (therefore, Microsoft's) big "Why we need to stop software piracy" initiative?

I'll save you the trouble--Yes it is--in every Global Piracy Study for the past five or six years, lost tax revenue is a key excuse for enacting more onerous legislation. Now, I realize we're discussing employment taxes, but isn't this the same basic problem? Um... Microsoft, the intent of that law was to enable you to move into the international marketplace and begin competing--not to avoid your responsibilities. Now that you are established, why not consider paying your debts to the societies that gave your company life?

What ever happened to the investigations into off-shoring intellectual property to Ireland to hide it from U.S. taxation? Ref, here is only one of the dozens of articles on side-stepping taxes that seem to have simply dried up: http://www.finfacts.ie/irelandbusinessnews/publish/article_10003995.shtml

Seems like there is a double standard going here... Surprised? Please accept my sincere apologies for speaking out. I realize it isn't "politically correct" to point out these types of scams.

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Anonymous Coward

no title is required

People talked about whats lead US to where it is today. The answer is very simple. Its because of people like Mark Taylor whoms only thought is mememememememe. Idiots that don´t see the larger picture.

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Paris Hilton

World Government

Of course, when we get a world government, tax dodging and/or evasion of this kind will become impossible anyway.

I wish to be the first to welcome our new global tax-imposing overlords! Oh, and I could be available for that departmental software contract....

Paris, because she knows about doing it everywhere.

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