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Many of the largest U.S. companies — especially big tech players like Apple and Microsoft and pharmaceutical giants like Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer — have trillions of dollars parked in offshore subsidies. And they'd benefit immensely from the Republican tax overhaul, which would allow them to bring cash back into the U.S. at very low tax rates.

Expand chart
Expand chart
Data: Company data, Credit Suisse estimates; Chart: Axios Visuals

The details: Just 30 of the largest companies in the S&P 500 index have almost $900 billion of cash stashed overseas, based on company data and estimates compiled by Credit Suisse. Apple is the dominant cash hoarder in that group, with more than a quarter of a trillion dollars in international accounts.

Companies park their money in foreign subsidiaries to avoid having to pay the 35% U.S. corporate tax rate. If Republicans pass their tax overhaul legislation, companies would be able to bring that money back at a much lower rate (10% in the Senate bill, 14% in the House).

The biggest winners: Tech and pharma companies. The 10 companies with the most cash overseas are either tech or pharma conglomerates: Apple, Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, Google's parent Alphabet, Johnson & Johnson, Amgen, Gilead Sciences, Pfizer and Merck.

For most of the largest tech and pharma companies, their overseas cash reserves represent more than 85% of all their available cash.

Get smart: A lot of the overseas cash is actually invested in U.S. securities, treasuries and corporate debt, but is not on the company's U.S. balance sheet, according to tax and finance experts. For the offshore money that is tied up in foreign accounts, companies have not guaranteed they would bring that money back. And even if they do, they haven't guaranteed they would invest those profits into raising wages, hiring more workers or building/upgrading facilities.

Go deeper

Updated 18 mins ago - Science

Volcanic eruption in Tonga caused "significant" damage

This satellite image of the eruption on Jan. 15 taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite operated by Japan Meteorological Agency and released by National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). Photo: NICT via AP

Significant damage has been reported in Tonga following an undersea volcanic eruption on Saturday, which covered the Pacific nation in ash and cut off communication lines.

Driving the news: The eruption triggered tsunami warnings across Tonga's islands and in other regions, including the West Coast of the U.S. and New Zealand.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump dogs "dull" DeSantis ahead of potential 2024 matchup

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Donald Trump is trashing Ron DeSantis in private as an ingrate with a "dull personality" and no realistic chance of beating him in a potential 2024 showdown, according to sources who've recently talked to the former president about the Florida governor.

Why it matters: The two are among the most popular Republicans in the country, and as the former president eyes another run in 2024, he's irked by DeSantis' popularity and refusal to rule out running against him.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron — WHO recommends 2 new treatments — What "mild" really means when it comes to Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas— Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements— Supreme Court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for large employers.
  3. Politics: Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health" — Focus group says Biden weak on COVID response, strong on democracy.
  4. Economy: America's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic— — CDC COVID guidance for cruise ships to be optional starting Saturday — The cost of testing.
  5. States: America struggles to keep schools open — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers.
  6. World: Beijing reports first local Omicron case weeks before Winter Olympics — Teachers in France stage mass walkout over COVID protocols.
  7. Variant tracker