In February, Citizens for Tax Justice published the results of its report on “The Sorry State of Corporate Taxes,” which surveyed the effective tax rate at nearly 300 of the country’s largest corporations between 2008 and 2012. Over those years, only nine of the companies paid more than the nominal 35 percent income tax on profits, while 26 companies paid less than none. By which I mean they received more in tax credits than they paid. Those companies include Boeing, General Electric and Verizon. Also? Pacific Gas & Electric, which came in with the second lowest tax bill at negative 16.7 percent. How’d tech companies do? Well known corporate tax avoiders Google and Apple didn’t make the CTJ study, but Facebook did, and it paid 2.7 percent. Which is certainly something!
To promote such generous tax avoidance and corporate subsidy schemes, the California Department of Corrections updated a billboard along the Caltrain corridor to call attention to the plight of other, less fortunate, corporations forced against their wills to contribute to the society in which they operate. If you’re confused as to how corporations can get away with paying so little, the CDC has a modest proposal to simplify things:
The CDC encourages the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to streamline the U.S. tax code, expand long-term, negative tax benefits to every Fortune 500 company and provide all American corporations with annual cash payments equal to 35% of company profits.
That does seem easier.
[h/t Chris Roberts]