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  • robbsbeach robbsbeach Jul 23, 2014 5:15 PM Flag

    Wassin has no Answer

    Gregory D. Wasson
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    108 Wilmot Road
    Deerfield, IL 60015

    Dear Mr. Wasson:

    Recent reports indicate that Walgreens plans to buy the remaining 55 percent stake in Swiss-based retailer and wholesaler Alliance Boots so it can claim domicile abroad and dodge U.S. taxes. Given how much of Walgreens’ revenue comes from U.S. taxpayers and how much U.S. taxpayer-funded infrastructure Walgreens relies on to support its business, I strongly urge you and the board of directors to reconsider this move.

    Walgreens has been in Illinois for its entire 113-year history. Its stores are a staple in our communities. Families have come to rely on the many goods and services available in your stores, including access to prescription and over-the-counter medication.

    Customers have many choices about where to shop and where to have their prescriptions filled. I believe you will find that your customers are deeply patriotic and will not support Walgreen’s decision to turn its back on the United States. Nearly all of your $2.5 billion in profits earned last year were from sales to U.S. taxpaying customers.

    Walgreens could dodge an estimated nearly $4 billion in taxes over the next 5 years, if your company inverts. I recognize that potential windfall in profit is an attractive option for shareholders. On the other hand, much of Walgreens financial success was built on programs and infrastructure provided by the U.S. government and paid for by U.S. taxpayers. The future success of Walgreens will continue to depend on U.S. taxpayers and government-funded programs, yet Walgreens will be using a clever tax dodge to avoid paying $4 billion in US taxes

    Further, it is not clear to me how you can in good conscience build a profitable company using these public assets and then organize your financial holdings specifically to avoid paying taxes on those profits.

    Nearly 25 percent of Walgreens profits were from U.S.-funded Medicare and Medicaid pr

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    • You no doubt understand that profits that are generated by Walgreens in the US will still be subject to US taxes. Do you have an answer as to why profits generated in other countries should be subject to US taxes?

      • 1 Reply to sdsasveld
      • robbsbeach pointed that out a few days ago. It doesn't reduce the taxes Walgreens pays on the retail stores in the U.S.. What he seems concerned about is the use of questionable tactics to shift profits from U.S. to European operations. Apparently these types of tactics have been used by other companies after inversion to reduce U.S. taxes. I say, give Walgreens the benefit of doubt not to use shady accounting procedures. Most people seem to think that the inversion, if completed. would stop Walgreens from paying U.S. taxes. The air needs to be cleared on that point. The politicians need to back off. They can change the tax code or live with it. "Economic patriotism" is one of the most absurd concepts ever put forth by a reigning president.