How The Cruise Industry Is Skipping on Taxes

There are two things in life that are certain – death, and paying taxes. Whether you are a large corporation or a citizen living in a small town that you know and love, we all pay taxes each and every year. Yet, there is one industry that has question marks surrounding their financials and end of year books, and the United States government isn’t doing much about it.

This industry is the maritime – or cruise – industry. When it was uncovered that Carnival Corporation was avoiding the payment of taxes in the United States, it raised concerns. You see, Carnival Corporation is headquartered in Florida, yet the company is legally incorporated in Panama. By incorporating in Panama and registering its ships in this third world country, the company avoids paying taxes and wages in the USA. Yet, Carnival benefits from a plethora of resources from their headquartered state of Florida and other States and Cities that their cruise ship docks in. The company uses the resources of the USA Coast Guard, Customs, Border Protection, the FBI and more.

If this raises question marks above your head, too, you’re certainly not alone. Attorney Jim Walker of Cruise Law News has been seeking an answer to this question for quite some time, wondering whether companies like Carnival pays its fair share of taxes. Similarly, the New York Times took aim at Carnival back in 2011.

Surprisingly, next to nothing has come of it. Though this seeming act of tax evasion has struck a cord with such Attorneys and large news publications, as above, the government is turning a blind eye at this act. The argument is that companies working in the maritime or cruise industries are global in nature, meaning that they could potentially be paying taxes around the world, or so their CEO Micky Arison says. Yet, those who take cruises for leisure are primarily from the USA, and since the company is headquartered in the State of Florida, this argument has little to no support.

It is clear that the United State Government needs to pay attention to what is taking place in the maritime and cruise industries. With the primary mode of business being in the USA, it is unfair for tax payers and other businesses within the United States being tax paying, law abiding citizens or corporations, while companies like Carnival reaps the benefits of questionable business behavior year over year.


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