World-Class Tax Dodger!

A U.S. citizen since 1985, Rupert Murdoch avoids the tax hassles of his fellow Americans by basing his News Corporation conglomerate in Australia and spreading his 789 business units among 52 countries, including sunny tax havens such as the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. While News Corp.'s annual report says the majority of its income comes from U.S. operations, the company reportedly uses a combination of international tax law and fancy paperwork to show losses on its U.S. ventures and profits in its low-tax locations. As a result, according to the Washington Post, News Corp. paid $103 million in taxes worldwide last year on a $1.32 billion operating income—a paltry 7.8 percent effective tax rate. That's about a third of what the biggest U.S. media groups paid. So far, Murdoch's bookkeepers have kept him legally afloat. According to Business Week, the latest close call—Israel's largest tax investigation ever—ended with a mere $4 million fine.