It's an election-year staple: The United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. But the official tax rate is far higher than what corporations actually end up paying. How it happens:
1. More than ever, people pay more in taxes than corporations do.
2. But we tax corporate
Average tax rate?
3. And some of the wealthiest corporations pay no taxes at all.
They even get money back.
corporations from 2008 to 2010 paid
in taxes and received refunds totaling
General Electric was the champion. It made a $10.5 billion profit. At the statutory 35% rate, it would have paid about $3.7 billion in taxes. Instead, it got refunds of $4.7 billion. That’s a total tax subsidy of $8.4 billion dollars.
Also paying no taxes , 2008-2010
Verizon made $32.8 billion in profit and got
Wells Fargo made $49.4 billion and got
Boeing made $9.7 billion and got
4. Lobbying. The best investment around.
For its tax subsidy of $8.4 billion, General Electric spent $84.4 million on lobbying: a 100-to-1 return on investment.
In 2004, Congress was considering a one-time-only “repatriation holiday” law. 93 companies spent a total of $282.7 million lobbying for the bill, which allowed corporations to bring billions of dollars home from overseas accounts, but to pay income tax on only 15 percent of the money.
The law passed, and the corporations that lobbied saved $88.6 billion. That’s a 220-to-1 return on investment.
Revoke their charters, and other legal tools to hold corporations accountable to our laws.
Three things everybody knows—and why they’re wrong.
Where the infamous “Citizens United” decision came from and how to overturn it.
What we can do right now to strengthen our democracy.