Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp Stiffs America – Pockets $5 Billion In Tax Refunds

Rupert MurdochMuch of the world is presently learning what a despicable old plutocrat Rupert Murdoch is. The still unfolding scandals in the UK have revealed just how low his ethics can descend.

On top of that his Fox News empire has been bashing Media Matters for weeks, and falsely asserting that the watchdog group is receiving federal funds with which to criticize Fox. In fact Media Matters receives no funds from the government. Fox is alleging that their tax exempt status represents some sort of financial gift. These assertions have no merit whatsoever.

The truth is that News Corp is the beneficiary of far more funding that comes at the expense of American taxpayers. I previously reported that News Corp has been stiffing America for years by using tax dodges and deferrals to underpay their fair share.

Now a new article from David Cay Johnston at Reuters confirms that Fox is a deadbeat. Johnston writes that…

[Note: Reuters has withdrawn the column by Johnston due to an error in analysis. The error involves only the $4.8 billion dollar tax refund. Everything else in his article and this one is still correct]

“Over the past four years Murdoch’s U.S.-based News Corp. has made money on income taxes. Having earned $10.4 billion in profits, News Corp. would have been expected to pay $3.6 billion at the 35 percent corporate tax rate. Instead, it actually collected $4.8 billion in income tax refunds, all or nearly all from the U.S. government.”


News Corp. has 152 subsidiaries in tax havens, including 62 in the British Virgin Islands and 33 in the Caymans. Among the hundred largest U.S. companies, only Citigroup and Morgan Stanley have more tax haven subsidiaries than News Corp., a 2009 U.S. Government Accountability Office study found.

To repeat: That’s $4.8 billion in tax refunds (not credits). So while Fox is hyperventilating over Media Matters (whose entire budget is just a few million dollars), News Corp is walking away with nearly $5 billion from American taxpayers. And they are experts at dispersing their assets throughout the world, dispensing costs to countries that collect higher tax revenues, and profits to countries that have little or no taxes. So that money is likely leaving the country never to be seen again.

Defund Fox NewsIt’s time to stop Murdoch from raiding the American treasury. He is the poster fogey for decrepit oligarchs. He is using money that rightfully belongs to the citizens of the United States to finance campaigns against Media Matters; to disseminate propaganda via Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, etc.; to promote right-wing candidates and issues; to bankroll AstroTurf Tea Party groups; and now, to hack into the phones of kidnapped schoolgirls and victims of terrorism on both sides of the Atlantic.

His immoral enterprise has been exposed, and now he must be made to make restitution. To start with he should pay that $5 billion back. Then we can discuss what legal actions, civil and criminal, should be pursued.

Click here to call on Congress to investigate News Corp’s hacking practices and whether they are doing it in the U.S.
Click here to call on the Justice Department to investigate whether Rupert Murdoch is violating the law.


10 thoughts on “Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp Stiffs America – Pockets $5 Billion In Tax Refunds

  1. Johnston got it wrong. Fox actually paid 4.8 billion. If you look at the financials, they list taxes paid as negative. This is a less common way of reporting supplementary cash flow information, but still acceptable. We know they paid cash, rather than got cash back, because the other paid items (like interest paid) are also negative while cash received (from sales of assets) are positive. They changed to this method of reporting these items back in 2007. In 2006 and before, they reported supplemental cash flow the normal way.

    Johnston can add, though: it’s 4.8 billion, but it’s 4.8 billion dollars that they paid in tax, not that they got refunded.

    • I don’t think so. Johnston is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who specializes in economics. His account corroborates accounts in the New York Times and The Economist. See this link for more on that. I’ll stick with Johnston for now – no offense.

      • I can’t say I blame you. It’s pretty plain to an accountant that he’s got the numbers backwards, so I’d be shocked if he didn’t retract in the next few days. Take ‘er easy.

    • If that was correct, that would mean Newscorp actually paid ($4.8 billion) a LOT more than they actually owed ($3.6 billion, at the maximum rate without any deductions). On it’s face, I’d say it’s fair to rank that as EXTREMELY unlikely.

    • Congrats. You may have noticed that I already noted it above. Doesn’t mean that News Corp still isn’t fudging their finances as documented in the other articles I posted.

      • I still had to gloat; you’re not going to do it for me!

  2. “…that I already noted it above…”

    Then you need to re-title this thread.

  3. “Rupert Murdoch’s News Corps stiffs America – pockets $5 billion in tax refunds…”

    Johnston has completely retracted his story and admitted that News Corps actually PAID almost $4 billion in taxes. And you still haven’t changed the title to this thread.

    You’re done.

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