You work hard. You pay taxes. But 26 corporations don’t—or at least they didn’t between 2008 and 2011. General Electric, Boeing and Verizon were among the major companies that together enjoyed more than $78 billion in tax subsidies over the last four years, according to a report by Citizens for Tax Justice.
In 2011, 30 corporations paid an average federal income tax of 7.1 percent—far less than the statutory 35 percent federal corporate tax rate.
Over the four-year period, Wells Fargo managed to avoid paying $21.6 billion, General Electric $10.6 billion, Verizon $7.7 billion and Boeing $6 billion.
Bob McIntyre, director of Citizens for Tax Justice, connected widespread corporate tax evasion to America’s budget problems and the government’s inability to fund badly needed public works projects.
“Getting rid of corporate tax subsidies that cause such widespread tax avoidance ought to be a key part of any deficit-reduction program,” McIntyre says. “As a bonus, revenue-raising corporate tax reform would make it much easier to fund the investments we need to improve education and repair our crumbling roads and bridges—things that would actually help businesses and our economy grow.”
Citizens for Tax Justice:
Over the four years:
• 26 of the 30 companies continued to enjoy negative federal income tax rates. That means they still made more money after tax than before tax over the four years!
• Of the remaining four companies, three paid four-year effective tax rates of less than 4 percent (specifically, 0.2% 2.0% and 3.8%). One company paid a 2008-11 tax rate of 10.9 percent.
• In total, 2008-11 federal income taxes for the 30 companies remained negative, despite $205 billion in pretax U.S. profits. Overall, they enjoyed an average effective federal income tax rate of -3.1 percent over the four years.