U.S. taxpayers’ virus relief went to firms that avoided U.S. tax

 U.S. taxpayers’ virus relief went to firms that avoided U.S. tax

Last month Zagg Inc, a Utah-based company that makes mobile device accessories, received more than $9.4 million in cash from a U.S. government program that has provided emergency loans to millions of businesses hit by the coronavirus.

The money was part of the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) — a linchpin of President Donald Trump’s economic rescue package, meant to save small firms convulsed by the pandemic and help them to keep workers on the payroll.

Claimants certified the loans were necessary to support their business and received an average of $115,000 as of May 26, according to the Small Business Administration, which administers the program. Nasdaq-listed Zagg’s loan was more than 80 times that amount.

That wasn’t the only help Zagg had from the government lately. Last year, the company received a $3.3 million tax refund and racked up U.S. tax credits worth $7 million, its public filings show. It made $6 million in profit for 2019, but paid no tax in the United States.

Zagg has booked much of its profit through small companies in far-off Ireland and the Cayman Islands, its filings show.

The company’s situation is one of several that reveal a previously unreported aspect of the government relief program: The fund is giving millions of dollars in American taxpayer money to a number of firms that have avoided paying U.S. tax, a Reuters examination found. – READ MORE

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