El mundo al revés del capital móvil

BERKELEY – Un creciente número de empresas estadounidenses están tratando de trasladar su sede legal al exterior mediante la adquisición o fusión con empresas extranjeras. En el caso más reciente, Medtronics ha manifestado sus intenciones de adquirir Covidien, una empresa irlandesa mucho más pequeña y escindida de la estadounidense Tyco, con el fin de trasladar su casa matriz a Irlanda, país que cobra impuestos más bajos, culminando así la mayor "inversión" o "redomiciliación" jamás realizada por una empresa de EE.UU. Se dice que Walgreens está considerando trasladar su sede al Reino Unido con la adquisición de las acciones públicas restantes de Alliance Boots, el gigante farmacéutico con sede en Suiza.

Este tipo de tratos refleja las profundas fallas en el sistema del impuestos corporativos de Estados Unidos, que tiene la tasa más alta de los países desarrollados y es el único país del G-7 que se aferra a un sistema tributario obsoleto en el que las ganancias en el extranjero obtenidas por empresas con sede en Estados Unidos deben pagar impuestos nacionales adicionales al ser repatriadas.

En contraste, el resto de países del G-7 ha adoptado sistemas "territoriales" que imponen poco o nada de impuestos nacionales sobre los ingresos repatriados de sus empresas globales. Esta diferencia pone a las multinacionales con sede en Estados Unidos en desventaja frente a sus competidores extranjeros en el exterior. Para compensar esto, las multinacionales estadounidenses aprovechan una opción de diferimiento que contempla la legislación tributaria estadounidense.

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