November 4, 2011
Deadbeat corporate tax cheats made $160 billion in profits
In 2008, 2009, and 2010, Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) reports that 30 of the largest corporations in America paid not one dime in federal income taxes, even as they pocketed $160 billion in profits:
This study takes a hard look at the federal income taxes paid or not paid by 280 of America’s largest and most profitable corporations in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The companies in our report are all from Fortune’s annual list of America’s 500 largest corporations, and all of them were profitable in each of the three years analyzed. Over the three years, the 280 companies in our survey reported total pretax U.S. profits of $1.4 trillion.
While the federal corporate tax code ostensibly requires big corporations to pay a 35 percent corporate income tax rate, on average, the 280 corporations in our study paid only about half that amount. And many paid far less, including a number that paid nothing at all.
Duke Energy, which is asking the North Carolina Utilities Commission to approve an 18% rate increase, reported a $5.4 billion profit from 2008-2010 but paid less than nothing in income taxes.
While Verizon workers struggle to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement and had to strike to force the company back to the bargaining table, CTJ reports that Verizon Communications posted $32.5 billion in profits over the last three years and also paid less than nothing in income taxes.
CTJ says Corporate Taxpayers & Corporate Tax Dodgers 2008-10 isn’t an “anti-business” report:
On the contrary, we, like most Americans, want our businesses to do well. In a market economy, we need managers and entrepreneurs, just as we (and they) need workers and consumers. But we also need a much better balance when it comes to taxes. Just as workers pay their fair share of taxes on their earnings, so should successful businesses pay their fair share on their success.
But today corporate tax loopholes are so out of control that most Americans can rightfully complain, “I pay more federal income taxes than General Electric, Boeing, DuPont, Wells Fargo, Verizon, etc., etc., all put together.” That’s an unacceptable situation.
Click here to read the full report (opens PDF).
Precisely the economic injustice fueling Occupy Wall Street
It’s no wonder that tens of thousands of Americans from New York City to Oakland, California have joined Occupy Together protests when 30 companies can make $160 billion in profits and pay less income tax than the public employees losing their jobs to sustain this inequality.
Indeed, the Other 99% are fighting a system which is rigged for outcomes like what CTJ has exposed:
The laws were not enacted in a vacuum; they were adopted in response to relentless corporate lobbying, threats and campaign support.
It’s time for our politicians to stop defending corporate tax dodgers and the top 1% and start working for the rest of us.