Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Pharmaceutical Company Merck Pays No Taxes

Merck is not the only company paying no taxes in the US, but they are by far the largest benefactor that is listed on the S&P 500 Stock. According to an article in the USA today the biggest example of no taxes is Merck. They actually had a negative tax rate of 7.5 % according to Matt Krantz of USA Today. Yet they had an increase in profits of 52% or 1.9 billion in the most recent qtr. So they made almost 2 billion and paid no taxes.
Their gains appear to be because they profit in countries with lower tax rates. The USA Today article said: Merck got a tax benefit in the quarter from an option exercise connected with rival AstraZeneca buying Merck's interest in a partnership. Financial moves connected to the deal resulted in Merck getting a one time tax benefit.
The way we see it is that companies like Merck raise prices on their drugs because they complain about their R&D (research and development) costs, and also complain about competition, or lower priced generic drugs. Yet they don’t suffer when one of their drugs kills someone unless there is a class action suit. If someone commits suicide while using Celexa, or Remeron Merck doesn’t suffer.
People die from their drugs, and Merck doesn’t get a tax bill on $1.9 billion in income in only one quarter. The pharmaceutical ogre keeps getting bigger and bigger, yet there isn’t any penalty when a person commits mass murder or suicide when on their drugs. I am sure the $1.9 billion tax break can cover any lawsuit if there are any. So the beat goes on.

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