WASHINGTON -- Senate investigators say that Microsoft Corp., the Hewlett-Packard Co. and other multinational corporations have avoided billions in U.S. taxes by shifting profits offshore and taking advantage of weak, ambiguous sections of the tax code.
A report by a Senate investigations subcommittee said that Microsoft used "aggressive" transactions to shift assets to subsidiaries in Puerto Rico, Ireland and Singapore, in part to avoid taxes. The report said that from 2009 to 2011, the Washington state-based giant's shift of assets to Puerto Rico alone let it save $4.5 billion in U.S. taxes.
It also said HP used complex offshore loan transactions worth billions of dollars to avoid paying taxes while using the money to run its U.S. operations.
Executives of both companies said they have complied with American tax laws.