Taxing issues for multinationals

US multinationals, which attribute income to subsidiaries in lower-tax countries such as Ireland, may be forced by the Obama administration to change their accounting practices, writes Jesse Drucker

15th May, 2010

Over the past three years, pharma giant Pfizer was an earner without profit in its own country.

The maker of cholesterol medication Lipitor - one of the world’s top-selling prescription drugs - reported almost half its revenues in the US for 2007 to 2009,while booking domestic pre-tax losses totalling $5.2 billion.

In other countries, it was a different story. A Dutch subsidiary more than made up for New York-based Pfizer’s American losses. It reported pre-tax...

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