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US companies repatriated US$169.5b in Q2

[WASHINGTON] US corporations are required to pay a one-time tax on their offshore profits, but don't expect those stockpiled funds to come onshore quickly - or ever.

Companies repatriated US$169.5 billion in the second quarter,according to data released Wednesday by the Commerce Department,up from US$34.9 billion a year earlier. Still, that followed a downwardly revised US$294.9 billion returned in the first quarter.

Still, the numbers for the first half of the year are just a fraction of the more than US$3 trillion companies are estimated to have accumulated overseas to defer US taxes on the money.

President Donald Trump has said, without specifying his source,that he expects more than US$4 trillion to return to the US,which will help to create jobs and more investment.

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The tax overhaul signed into law by Trump in December gave  companies incentives to bring money back to the US by lowering the tax rate on repatriated profits.

The new rules set a one-time rate of 15.5 per cent on cash and 8 per cent on non-cash or illiquid assets. Previously, companies had to pay the old 35 perc ent corporate rate, but only if they brought the money back to the US.