Not Only Are U.S. Corporations Not Overtaxed, Some Of The Biggest Are Paying A Negative Tax Rate

I can't quite believe that Rick Ungar is allowed to post this stuff on the Forbes blog, but he's been doing it for awhile, so they must have noticed by now. This is some infuriating news, don't you think? Instead of keeping their mouths shut and counting their blessings, they're yelling for austerity cuts for the rest of us while they're making money hand over fist:

Yesterday, I wrote about how the GOP is falsely pushing the argument that America’s corporations are overtaxed. I included some great data courtesy of conservative commentator Bruce Bartlett whose New York Times piece did an extraordinary job of putting the lie to the Republican assertions.

Today, and not a moment too soon, the non-profit Citizens For Tax Justice (CTJ) has put out their findings revealing that twelve of the nations largest Fortune 500 companies, while making $170 billion in profits during the period of The Great Recession, paid an effective tax rate of negative 1.5%.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Not only have these twelve companies paid zero in taxes for the years 2008-2010, they actually received tax subsidies that added $62.4 billion to their bottom lines.The companies were chosen by the CTJ to represent a range of industries, including manufacturing, energy, services, transportation and high tech and include – in alphabetical order – American Electric Power, Boeing, Dupont, Exxon Mobil, FedEx, General Electric, Honeywell International, IBM, United Technologies, Verizon Communications, Wells Fargo and Yahoo.

Here are the bullet points presented by the report:

  • From 2008 through 2010, these 12 companies reported $171 billion in pretax U.S. profits. But as a group, their federal income taxes were negative: –$2.5 billion.
  • All but two of the dozen companies enjoyed at least one no-tax year over the 2008-10 period, despite reporting substantial pretax U.S. profits in those no-tax years.
  • Eight of the twelve companies reported net tax benefits over the full three-year period.

According to the study, not a single one of these companies paid an amount even close to the 35% statutory tax rate.

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