Obama assails corporate tax loopholes

President Obama called upon Congress to close corporate tax loopholes during his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Obama has sought in recent months to build support for changes in the U.S. tax code that would prevent U.S. businesses from moving their corporate headquarters overseas in order to pay lower corporate tax rates, a process known as "inversion."

Obama said, “for far too long, lobbyists have rigged the tax code with loopholes that let some corporations pay nothing while others pay full freight.” 

"We need a tax code that truly helps working Americans trying to get a leg up in the new economy, and we can achieve that together," he added.

In September, Obama unveiled executive actions aimed at curbing inversions by making it more difficult for a business to cut ties with its U.S. address.

His State of the Union tone on the issue was more measured than his previous public remarks.

In July, Obama called inversions the "unpatriotic tax loophole" and referred to these businesses as "corporate deserters."

He has called on Congress to pass more stringent inversion legislation, but it's unlikely to happen with Republicans in control.

Republicans have criticized Obama for government overreach on the issue. They argued for widespread tax reform and want to see lower corporate tax rates to incentivize businesses to stay in America.