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Nine Little Places That Are Home For One Million Corporations

Big corporations like Apple, Google and Bank of America have had to make some interesting homes for themselves, in order to get out of paying their fair share of U.S. taxes. They create dummy companies in countries or places where taxes are low, then shift profits over to those companies. It saves the corporations a collective $90 billion in U.S. taxes every year. That's great for corporations, but not so great for Americans who care about things like education, healthcare, or, you know, paved roads. If you think you've had to deal with a lot of roommates, read on.

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1. The third floor of this building in the Cook Islands -- but only the third floor.

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The third floor here is shared by thousands of dummy companies and a business called TrustNet that provides these companies with lawyers, accountants and secrecy experts. Yep, secrecy experts.

2. Ugland House, Cayman Islands.

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President Obama said in a 2009 speech that "either this is the largest building in the world or the largest tax scam in the world." This little five-story building is home to nearly 19,000 companies, including CitiGroup.

3. 70 Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Dublin, Ireland.

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Seven stories and 125 dummy corporations that are associated with U.S.-headquartered corporations, particularly tech companies like Google, Microsoft and Dell. Hey, that's only 17.9 multinational corporations per floor.

4. Inside a bookkeeper's 17th-century, three-story converted warehouse home in Amsterdam.

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Reindert Dooves' home doubles as the headquarters for a Yahoo! offshore company. Does Yahoo! sleep on the couch, or is there an air mattress?

(Not the actual home.)


5. P.O. Box 990, Amsterdam.

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Why rent an actual office when you can get by with just a mailbox? 1,942 dummy companies claim that this one mailbox is theirs, and it’s their only address. It must be really tough to share the key.

(Not the actual post office.)

6. Zug, Switzerland.

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Not to be outdone by the tax-haven status of the whole nation of Switzerland, Zug created its own lower-than-low tax rate -- making itself a "tax haven within a tax haven." Population: 26,000 people, 30,000 corporations.

7. The Island of Nauru.

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Why use someone else's bank, when you can start your own bank here for just $25,000? This South Pacific island is eight square miles, and at one point it had over 400 banks -- or 50 banks per square mile. A crackdown in 2001 closed most of them up, however.

8. 1209 North Orange Street, Wilmington, Delaware.

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200,000 companies, including subsidiaries, have addresses in this little single-story building. If you're moving to this pleasant-sounding street, your neighbors will include Apple, Verizon and American Airlines.

9. Ok, fine -- Delaware. All of Delaware.

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Small wonder, indeed. 945,000 companies, but only 898,000 people. Delaware's lax tax laws have allowed corporations to dodge a whopping $9.5 billion in taxes they otherwise would have paid to other states.

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