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The head of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee is seeking details from Amgen about the taxes paid during a recent four-year period as part of an ongoing investigation into tax practices by multinational pharmaceutical companies and efforts made to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

Since early last year, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who chairs the committee, has probed the extent to which some companies have allegedly used offshore subsidiaries to avoid paying U.S. taxes on sales. In at least one instance, he is also examining how a company may register patents in low-tax jurisdictions to avoid paying U.S. taxes. Among his targets: Merck, Abbott Laboratories, Bristol Myers Squibb, and AbbVie.


In an Aug. 11 letter to Amgen, Wyden noted that Amgen paid an effective tax rate ranging from 10.7% and 14.2% between 2018 through 2021. These rates were substantially below the 21% U.S. corporate tax rate and followed passage of a law in 2017 that lowered taxes for many companies.

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