The logistics of inversion before 2004 differ from those of the deals done today. Back then, establishing offshore headquarters didn’t require a parent company abroad, so U.S. companies could simply relocate themselves. “You move some paper…You get a post-office box in a tax haven, and it works,” says Mihir Desai, a professor at Harvard Business School. That strategy was relatively easy to restrict, Desai says, and inversions died down after 2004’s legislation.
— The Tax Dodge That Has Plagued the U.S. for More Than a Decade by Joe Pinsker