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US Feds Raid Caterpillar Facilities

The raid sent the company’s stocks sharply lower to close down 4.3%.The raid sent the company’s stocks sharply lower to close down 4.3%.

US officials raided three Caterpillar sites on Thursday as part of a criminal probe into tax irregularities at the heavy machinery manufacturer.

The raid sent the company’s stocks sharply lower to close down 4.3%.

Caterpillar said it thought the probe was linked to profits from Swiss subsidiary CSARL, BBC News reported.

The company is accused of shifting billions in profits abroad to avoid paying taxes in the US.

The officials searched the headquarters of the company, one of the world’s largest makers of construction and other heavy equipment, in Peoria, Illinois. Two other sites in Illinois were also raided under the federal warrant.

The raids come as the Trump administration plans to overhaul corporate taxes to keep jobs and profits within the country.

The subsidiary in Switzerland was the focus of a 2014 investigation by the US senate alleging it was set up to shift billions of profits abroad to avoid paying taxes in the US.

A subsequent report by senate Democrats accused Caterpillar of having avoided paying $2.4 billion in US taxes since 2000 by shifting profits abroad.

The report said the firm transferred profits of its parts business to the Swiss subsidiary even though no employees or business activities were moved there.

The income was then taxed at a special rate of 4% to 6% that Caterpillar negotiated with the Swiss government, the report said. This meant that only 15% of the profits from its parts business were taxed in the US whereas beforehand 85% had been subject to US taxation.

The US Internal Revenue Service demand Caterpillar pay back $2 billion in taxes and penalties for profits assigned to the CSARL subsidiary.

The machinery maker though is also part of the Trump administration’s effort to promote US manufacturing.

Ranked 59th on the Fortune 500 list, Caterpillar is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and sellers of construction equipment and machinery.

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