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WASHINGTON: The Republican tax plan seems about to hand a bow-tied holiday gift to some of America's richest multinational companies, from Apple and Microsoft to Google's parent Alphabet: Tens of billions in tax breaks on profits they've parked overseas.At issue is at least $2.6 trillion in profits U.S. companies have stored abroad. Under current law, companies must pay the 35 percent corporate tax when they return that money to the United States. The House version would tax the overseas earnings at low one-time rates: 14 percent on earnings in cash and other liquid investments and 7 percent on profits in investments that are harder to sell.Once the companies' earnings overseas were taxed at the one-time low rate, most future overseas profits could be returned home tax-free. Companies would still face a minimum U.S. tax on unusually high overseas profits.Most of the industry's overseas cash has been accumulated by five companies: Apple, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Alphabet and Oracle.Smiley said the company could use money returned from overseas to buy companies, finance research and return cash to shareholders.Pfizer slashed 10,000 jobs in 2005 and 2006, Merck 7,000 and Hewlett-Packard 14,500 .Solid corporate profits have allowed companies to accumulate $2.36 trillion in cash.
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