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AP FACT CHECK: Trump and the mirage of overseas profits

December 17, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump speaks often of a pile of money sitting overseas that will come rushing back into the U.S. because of his tax plan. An AP Fact Check finds that’s something of a mirage.

Some U.S. companies park profits overseas because of the high corporate tax rate at home. A lower rate should indeed bring some profits back to the U.S. But Trump’s estimate of $4 trillion appears unrealistic. And when companies last got a tax holiday, they tended not to use it for hiring or operations.

A 2004 law temporarily cut taxes on repatriated profits to 5.25 percent from 35 percent. About 843 companies brought back $312 billion. But a 2011 Congressional Research Service report found that the tax holiday “did not increase domestic investment or employment.”

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