Corporate Tax Dodging Is A Big Deal

Citizens for Tax Justice has a new report examining the tax evasiveness of some of America’s largest corporations. They found that between 2008 – 2010, using data from 280 Fortune 500 corporations, 30 paid no federal income tax at all. As a follow up to their study, they looked at the same 30 companies and found that over the 2008 – 2011 period, all but four of those 30 companies still had negative federal income tax rates. As noted in the chart, the four that actually did have to pay taxes paid very little, and certainly nowhere near the 35% alleged corporate tax rate.

How 30 No Tax Corporations in 2008 10 Fared in 2008 11 Corporate Tax Dodging Is A Big DealSome of the most elusive tax evaders on this list are absolutely massive, with companies like General Electric, a $200 billion corporate giant, paying a ridiculous -18.9%. GE has been known for their tricky tax filings, apparently hiring as many ex-IRS officials and government lawmakers as they can, but there are also other very profitable corporations in this list who do not need such government subsidies to survive.

CTJ notes that this structure of government really isn’t fair to the rest of us. The burden has been shifted on to tax paying Americans while the federal government continues to run a large budget deficit. The argument that we need low tax rates to keep corporations stationed in the U.S. can really only go so far.

What difference would it make if these companies actually paid the standard 35% corporate tax rate? Pretty big actually. Over the period of 2008 – 2011, the government could have pocketed an extra $78.3 billion in tax revenues from these corporations alone. That’s a lot of new roads and schools.

Well Fargo is leading this field of corporate tax evaders with a disturbing $21.6 billion in subsidies over the 4 year period. General Electric is next highest with nearly $10.6 billion.

2011 by itself was actually a more profitable year for the government as far as reducing tax subsidies go, with the average federal tax rate among these 30 companies at 7.1%. Only 15 corporations of the 30 had tax rates below zero in 2011, with Wisconsin Energy easily the leader at a -33.2% rate.

30 Companies and Their Total Tax Subsidies 2008 11 millions Corporate Tax Dodging Is A Big Deal

How 30 N Tax Corporations in 2008 10 Fared in 2011 Only Corporate Tax Dodging Is A Big Deal

















How 30 No Tax Corpoations in 2008 10 Fared in 2008 2011 700x478 Corporate Tax Dodging Is A Big Deal

Gavin Aronson at Mother Jones put together this list of the 10 most profitable tax dodging corporations and the politicians their CEOs, employees, and PACs give the most money to.

Verizon Communications
Profits: $19.8 billion    Effective tax rate: -3.8%

Top recipients, 2011-2012
President Barack Obama: $51,493
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.): $24,450
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): $23,700
Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio): $22,500
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.): $15,000

General Electric
Profits: $19.6 billion    Effective tax rate: -18.9%

Top recipients, 2011-2012
Mitt Romney: $53,750
President Barack Obama (D): $30,493
Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.): $23,900
Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.): $21,860
Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.): $19,750

Profits: $14.8 billion    Effective tax rate: -5.5%
Top recipients, 2011-2012
Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.): $31,750
Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.): $25,000
Former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.): $23,500
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.): $23,125
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas): $20,986

NextEra Energy: North America’s largest solar and wind power operator, based in Florida
Profits: $8.8 billion    Effective tax rate: -2%
Top recipients, 2011-2012
George LeMieux (R-Fla.): $9,500
Mike Haridopolos (R-Fla.): $4,800
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.): $2,000
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas): $2,000
Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.): $2,000

American Electric Power: Electric utility based in Columbus, Ohio
Profits: $8.2 billion    Effective tax rate: -6.4%
Top recipients, 2011-2012
Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio): $34,750
Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio): $34,050
Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio): $21,700
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.): $19,750
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio): $18,450

Pacific Gas & Electric: California electrical utility
Profits: $6 billion    Effective tax rate: -8.4%
Top recipients, 2011-2012
President Barack Obama (D): $6,250
Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.): $5,000
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.): $5,500
Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.): $5,000
Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.): $3,500

Apache: Houston-based oil and gas company
Profits: $6 billion    Effective tax rate: -0.3%
Top recipients, 2011-2012
David Dewhurst (R-Texas): $25,000
Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.): $5,000
Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.): $2,500
Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas): $2,500
Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas): $2,500
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): $2,500
Brendan Doherty (R-R.I.): $2,500

Consolidated Edison: New York energy company
Profits: $5.9 billion    Effective tax rate: -1.3%
Top recipients, 2011-2012
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.): $15,050
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.): $8,000
Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.): $6,650
Then-Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.): $2,500
Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.): $1,500
Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.): $1,500
Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.): $1,500

El Paso: Houston-based energy company that operates the country’s largest natural gas pipeline
Profits: $4.6 billion    Effective tax rate: -0.9%
Top recipients, 2011-2012
David Dewhurst (R-Texas): $7,500
Mitt Romney (R): $5,000
Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.): $3,000
Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.): $2,750
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.): $2,500
Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.): $2,500
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): $2,500
Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas): $2,500
Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.): $2,500
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.): $2,500

CenterPoint Energy: Electric and gas utility company based in Houston
Profits: $3.1 billion    Effective tax rate: -11.3%
Top recipients, 2011-2012
David Dewhurst (R-Texas): $22,050
Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas): $13,458
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): $10,299
Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.): $7,000
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas): $4,000

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