Yesterday U.S. consumer advocate Ralph Nader wrote a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper criticizing Verizon as an alleged corporate tax dodger. In a quick response, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam has responded to Nader in a letter sent to Harper and republished in The Star.
Below is a snippet:
Dear Prime Minister Harper,
I read the letter sent to your office by Ralph Nader citing a Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) report that wrongly accuses Verizon of not paying its fair share of taxes. Integrity is at the core of who we are as a company, so I take dishonest allegations like this very seriously. CTJ has a long history of advancing a political agenda with blatant misstatements about Verizon’s and others’ taxes. The reality is that Verizon is one of the largest taxpayers and investors in America.
Verizon complies with all tax laws and pays its fair share of taxes. In fact, over the past three years, Verizon has paid more than $11.1 billion in taxes in the United States, including $3.4 billion in 2012 alone. Mr. Nader and CTJ resort to cherry-picking numbers from our financial reports to support politically motivated claims that we have avoided our tax obligations. They conveniently ignore the disclosure in our financial statements that explains why our effective tax rate appears lower than it actually is due to U.S. accounting principles. In fact, our effective tax rate is right around 30 per cent. Mr. Nader and CTJ are misleading consumers and misrepresenting the significant contributions our company makes to economic growth.
McAdam goes on to explain in that same three year period, Verizon also invested close to $50 billion into its technology infrastructure, which created jobs both inside and outside the company. He also reiterates Verizon was the first carrier in the U.S. to build a nationwide 4G LTE network and future-proof fibre-optic network to support high speed data and TV signals.