The 500 largest American corporations are hiding over $2 trillion in total profits in offshore tax havens in order to avoid paying American corporate taxes. These companies are currently cheating the government out of billions.

A study conducted by two left-leaning think tanks found that nearly 75 percent of the companies on the Fortune 500 list of biggest companies, as measured by gross revenue, hide money in the Netherlands, Bermuda, and Ireland. By hiding their money in offshore tax havens, they avoid paying $620 billion in taxes.

“At least 358 companies, nearly 72 percent of the Fortune 500, operate subsidiaries in tax haven jurisdictions as of the end of 2014,” the study said. “All told these 358 companies maintain at least 7,622 tax haven subsidiaries.”

For example, Apple tops the list of tax-cheating corporations with $181.1 billion hidden offshore, which amounts to $59.2 billion in taxes that have gone unpaid. General Electric has $199 billion hidden throughout 18 tax different tax havens. Hundreds of other companies have fallen in line with the tax-cheating trend. The study called upon lawmakers to act against this problem.

“Congress can and should take strong action to prevent corporations from using offshore tax havens, which in turn would restore basic fairness to the tax system, reduce the deficit and improve the functioning of markets,” the study concluded.

For more on this story, visit ReutersBig U.S. firms hold $2.1 trillion overseas to avoid taxes: study”

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Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at DeSmogBlog.com. He also hosts the weekly DeSmogCAST and serves as co-host for Ring of Fire on Free Speech TV. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced