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Business Comment

James Moore: Time to stop Caterpillar making tracks to tax haven

Outlook Caterpillar is the world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment. It's really good at building big and complicated bits of kit. It's even better at ducking paying tax on the profits from doing that, at least according to a report issued by a US Senate sub-committee which reckons Uncle Sam is $2.4bn (£1.4bn) light thanks to Caterpillar's habit of diverting profits through Switzerland, with the help of its accountants.

Aha, say its executives. We merely operated under the rules you lot laid out for us. Uncle Sam'll get every cent we owe, and not a penny more. Stop me if you've heard that line before, from companies on both sides of the pond. And you'll be hearing it again too, until lawmakers turn talk about a clampdown on corporate tax avoidance into action.