Senate Finance committee chair Ron Wyden (D-OR)(Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

Sen­ate Fi­nance chair calls on Mer­ck and Ab­bott to com­ply with his in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­to their off­shore tax schemes

Sen­ate Fi­nance com­mit­tee chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) on Wednes­day sent fol­low-up let­ters to Mer­ck and Ab­bott af­ter both com­pa­nies failed to an­swer ques­tions and com­ply with his in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­to how a 2017 tax law helped slash tax rates for large, US-based phar­ma com­pa­nies thanks to shift­ing prof­its off­shore.

Last April, Wyden sent a stern let­ter to Mer­ck’s CEO and pres­i­dent Robert Davis ques­tion­ing the com­pa­ny’s abil­i­ty to go from an ef­fec­tive tax rate of 22.9% in 2020 to less than half that a year lat­er, down to 11% in 2021, thanks large­ly to Mer­ck’s use of sub­sidiaries in sev­er­al well-known low-or-ze­ro tax ju­ris­dic­tions.

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