Durbin Statement on Reports of AbbVie Reconsidering Inversion

[CHICAGO] –U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement after North Chicago-based AbbVie announced that it will reconsider a decision to exploit a tax loophole called “inversion” which allows a company to move its headquarters overseas, but only on paper, in order to avoid paying U.S. taxes:

I’m encouraged by reports that AbbVie will reconsider its decision to move its tax address out of the United States,” said Durbin. “When corporations choose to invert and don’t pay their fair share of taxes, they leave the rest of us to pick up the tab. That isn’t right, and I hope that more companies will see the light.”

In July, Durbin sent a letter to Richard Gonzalez, CEO of AbbVie, urging him and the board of directors to reverse their plans to invert and to weigh the long-term consequences this move would have on a company that relies on U.S. taxpayers and U.S. taxpayer-funded programs to profit and thrive. 

The Obama Administration has taken action to help curb this practice,” Durbin added. “Congress must follow suit by passing a legislative solution to eliminate incentives for companies to renounce their corporate citizenship and turn their backs on American taxpayers.”

Durbin has been the leading voice in Congress against inversion schemes, raising the issue in the face of a growing trend toward U.S. corporate tax avoidance.  Durbin led a letter—also signed by U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)—to President Obama urging him to use his executive authority to reduce or eliminate tax breaks for companies that shift their headquarters overseas to avoid paying U.S. taxes. As Congress considers legislative solutions to the problem, the lawmakers emphasized the need for immediate action, considering the growing trend in corporate tax avoidance. On September 22, the Treasury Department announced new regulations to curb the practice.