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Ballmer clashes with Obama over US tax rules

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Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer has threatened to move more US jobs overseas if President Barack Obama refuses to change his stance on ending tax breaks on foreign earnings.

Big Steve told Bloomberg yesterday that US tax rates made jobs “more expensive.”

"We’re better off taking lots of people and moving them out of the US as opposed to keeping them inside the US," he said.

Last month Obama put forward plans to outlaw or restrict about $190bn in tax breaks for offshore firms over the next decade.

Unsurprisingly many business groups in the US have hit out at the proposals, and labelled such a move as “unfair”.

Currently, US tax regulations allow companies to defer foreign profit payments of corporate rates by as much as 35 per cent as long as the cash remains invested overseas, but Obama wants to kybosh those rules.

The newly-installed president thinks such an overhaul of the system would help the US retain jobs, while Ballmer claims it would have a negative impact for workers, as well as hitting Microsoft's bottom line, of course. ®

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