Years of Federal Scrutiny Lead to Caterpillar HQ Raid - Chicago Tribune
In 2014, a Senate investigation found the company had used its Swiss affiliate to take advantage of a corporate tax rate it negotiated and avoided paying at least $2.4 billion in U.S. taxes. Soon after, shareholders filed lawsuits against the company and its accounting firm, PwC, alleging breach of fiduciary duties. That matter is ongoing.
A technical change Caterpillar made in 1999 shifted most of the profits from replacement parts sold outside the U.S. to the Swiss subsidiary, Caterpillar SARL, or CSARL, but “did not … otherwise change how Caterpillar’s replacement parts business functioned on the ground,” according to a Senate report.
The Senate investigation grew out of a whistleblower suit filed in 2009 by then-Caterpillar employee Daniel Schlicksup, alleging the company shifted profits to avoid taxes.