Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

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

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
43 mins ago - Podcasts

Net neutrality on the line under Biden

Federal net neutrality rules are back on the table in the Biden administration, after being nixed by Trump, but now might be complicated by the debate over social media companies' behavior.

Axios Re:Cap digs into why net neutrality matters and what comes next with Nilay Patel, editor-in-chief of The Verge and host of the Decoder podcast.

House grants waiver for retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to lead Pentagon

Defense Secretary nominee Lloyd Austin Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House voted 326-78 on Thursday to grant retired Gen. Lloyd Austin a waiver to lead the Pentagon, clearing the way for the Senate to confirm President Biden's nominee for defense secretary as early as this week.

Why it matters: Austin's nomination received pushback from some lawmakers, including Democrats, who cited a law that requires officers be out of the military for at least seven years before taking the job — a statute intended to reinforce the tradition of civilian control of the Pentagon.

Amanda Gorman steals the show on Inauguration Day

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Axios Visuals

Poet Amanda Gorman by far generated the most average interactions on social media on Inauguration Day, according to exclusive data from NewsWhip.