STUDY: U.S. Corporations Paid Far Less
First Posted: 06/ 1/11 03:54 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Kevin Drawbaugh) - Twelve big U.S. companies paid far less than the statutory corporate tax rate from 2008 to 2010, despite making substantial profits in that period, said a report released on Wednesday.
With the Obama administration drafting a corporate tax reform plan, the report found General Electric Co, American Electric Power Co Inc, DuPont Co and nine other companies had a negative 1.5 percent tax rate on $171 billion in profits over the three years studied.
"Not a single one of these companies paid anything close to the 35 percent statutory tax rate," said the report from Citizens for Tax Justice, a left-leaning group based in Washington that promised more details later this year.
The White House and Congress are considering an overhaul of the corporate tax system as a partial solution to the federal deficit, projected to hit $1.4 trillion this year.
Citizens for Tax Justice produced a report in the 1980s that helped lead to President Ronald Reagan's landmark 1986 tax reforms. Since then, the tax code has become riddled with exemptions, deferrals and other special breaks.
Companies singled out in Citizens for Tax Justice's newest report also included Verizon Communications, Boeing Co, Wells Fargo & Co, FedEx Corp and Exxon Mobil Corp.
"These 12 companies are just the tip of the iceberg of widespread corporate tax avoidance," said Bob McIntyre, director of Citizens for Tax Justice, which is working on a broader report covering the Fortune 500 companies.
Elected officials should make "reducing or eliminating the vast array of corporate tax subsidies the centerpiece of any deficit-reduction strategy," he said.
Citizens for Tax Justice said that in the 2008-2010 period, 10 of the dozen companies studied enjoyed at least one year in which they were profitable, but paid no taxes.
(Additional reporting by Matthew Daily and Ernest Scheyder in New York, Anna Driver in Houston, Scott Malone in Boston; Editing by Richard Chang) Copyright 2011 Thomson Reuters.