So, you’re waking up this morning to the news that Burger King is bolting to Canada to save on taxes. I know what you’re thinking, Canada has lower taxes? But, we have freedom fries and guns. How can this be?
The technical term is called tax inversion, or a middle finger salute to the IRS. Oh, you’re welcome Burger King PR. Just say you’re doing a middle finger salute to the IRS, and every red-blooded conservative will be grabbing the value size today.
Inversion deals have been on the uptick lately, drawing criticism from Washington as the deals threaten to deplete federal coffers. You know, seeing as corporations are people now, shouldn’t their income abroad be taxed like a regular citizen? Just a thought D.C. I know you’re too cowardly to act on that, so just expect Congressional hearings and little else.
Most of the deals you hear about in the news normally involve Europe. That actually shrouds the truth of the growth in deals involving Canada. The country lowered its corporate tax rate to 15% in 2012. Of course companies act to avoid even that rate, so don’t be fooled by them pointing that out.
The deal being talked about today is Burger King and Tim Hortons. For those that don’t know about Tim Hortons, think Canadian Dunkin Donuts. The inversion deals are sought to save companies money on their foreign earnings, and lower their overall tax rate.
Most of the deals of late have been drug companies looking to save money. Having Burger King try to pull one shows that it has broad-based appeal for any corporation. Sorry Joe Citizen, you can’t open a bank account in Canada to lower your effective tax rate. See, you have to be a drain on society first, find as many loopholes in the tax code, alter elections with unlimited contributions and then you can leave for greener pastures.
What makes this deal controversial is that Burger King is known as an iconic American company. Figures, we are known for fast food. Burger King’s approach to Tim Hortons does not include a walk-away provision if the inversion benefits are stripped. The company wants the high margin coffee business.
It’s hard to imagine going to Burger King for morning coffee, but who would have thought Taco Bell and breakfast.
Shares of Burger King (BKW) are loving the idea of the merger. The stock is up nearly 13% in the first few minutes of trading. The tax savings alone would be enough to juice guidance. The coffee sales would help long-term in the battle between fast food chains.