Study names 26 firms that paid no income tax for five years

Twenty-six out of 288 profitable Fortune 500 companies paid no federal income tax between 2008 and 2012, a report from the left-leaning activist group Citizens for Tax Justice shows.

The firms include Boeing (BA), GE (GE), and Verizon Communications (VZ).

The study adds that 111 firms paid no federal income tax in at least one of the five years.

However, GE and other companies named dispute the report's findings. "For each year cited by Citizens for Tax Justice, GE paid income taxes in the U.S., as well as billions in other state, local and federal taxes in the U.S.," GE said.

Boeing said its total effective 2013 tax rate was 26.4%, while Verizon said it paid over $2.9B in income taxes from 2008-2012.

CTJ's report comes as GOP House member David Camp gets set to introduce an overhaul of the tax code.

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Comments (31)
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
    So who is telling the truth? CTJ or the companies who say exactly the opposite. Please clarify
    26 Feb 2014, 06:46 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8922) | Send Message
    Did you read the actual article, or just the highlights above? Start with the article.


    Just like your personal income taxes, companies have a variety of exemptions, charitible donations, capital expenses, deferrals, income averaging between years with losses and years with profits, and so forth.


    If there are "unfair loopholes", then the government needs to go ahead and fix them. Just like they "fixed" (eliminated) the deduction on consumer credit card interest several years ago.


    It is not the responsibility of companies to decide to ignore provisions in the tax code that were set up specifically to reduce corporate taxes and encourage capital investments and such. Any more than it is your responsibility to ignore your own personal income tax deductions, charitable donations, and exemptions and such. You owe it to your family to get every deduction and exemption that you are entitled to. Companies owe the same to their shareholders.
    26 Feb 2014, 06:57 AM Reply Like
  • Noquiche
    , contributor
    Comments (247) | Send Message
    The tax code is so convoluted they probably both are telling the truth
    26 Feb 2014, 06:58 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8922) | Send Message
    Well, Corporate taxes are totally public, audited by tax experts and the government, and are legally regulated. And the CEO can go to jail for tax fraud if they are "lying".


    Not so much the "left-leaning activist group Citizens for Tax Justice", which simply operates under free speech provisions and has no accountability.


    Choose your side.
    26 Feb 2014, 07:49 AM Reply Like
  • Wise Timmy
    , contributor
    Comments (298) | Send Message
    Not to mention the fact that the owners of the company pay capital gains, and dividend taxes. Perhaps these studies need to include those taxes in the analysis.
    Of course these stories come out every year to upset those who think they are paying more than their share...
    26 Feb 2014, 08:35 AM Reply Like
  • jarco
    , contributor
    Comments (2233) | Send Message
    Thanks for the very central comment. Obviously the critics in this case have an agenda but clearly chose to ignore the failure of congress and the administration over the years to fix the obvious.
    26 Feb 2014, 08:43 AM Reply Like
  • Land of Milk and Honey
    , contributor
    Comments (8883) | Send Message
    From the article:


    ""GE spokesman Seth Martin said:...GE paid income taxes in the U.S., as well as billions in other state, local and federal taxes in the U.S." ... CTJ inaccurately uses the current tax provision - a book accounting number - to make definitive statements about our U.S. income taxes. This is not the same as the cash income tax that we pay for a given year.""


    So whatever that means, it's probably the answer.


    The lobby group would be more accurate and effective if they said the code is so complex we're all spending more in "managing" than is competitive with foreign countries.
    26 Feb 2014, 07:42 AM Reply Like
  • philipmax
    , contributor
    Comments (421) | Send Message
    The companies are claiming that they "paid income tax". What they really paid was, social security tax, medicare tax, and federal and state unemployment taxes, which all employers must pay. They DID NOT pay CORPORATE TAXES. So, technically they can claim that they paid taxes on income but they DID NOT pay an Income Tax! This ruse was exposed several years ago when Jack Walsh, then chairman of GE, claimed that GE paid "income taxes" only to be outed as per above.
    The companies listed DID NOT PAY TAXES ON THEIR INCOME.
    The article also disparages the source of the report by slanting it as leftist inspired propaganda. All Americans should be interested in this information, because everyone else must shoulder the tax burden that these "ever so clever" companies are shirking. The tax laws are a product of a very organized, highly paid, and placed lobbyists whose sole purpose is to legalize corporate tax evasion.
    26 Feb 2014, 07:52 AM Reply Like
  • mhanley
    , contributor
    Comments (61) | Send Message
    That means GE paid taxes that were provided for in previous years and deferred on the balance sheet as a timing difference. Look for a liability on the balance sheet with a caption such as "deferred taxes". As usual, the Leftests didn't know what the hell they were talking about when they did their "study" but were trying to stir up class warfare.
    26 Feb 2014, 07:55 AM Reply Like
  • tbone25
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    1. What "class" is a Corporation in that would substantiate your claim of "class warfare"?
    2. GE is claiming the Income Taxes they withhold on behalf of their employees, which in essence, is paid by their employees, not by the corporation.
    3. Looking at their Financial Statements, Domestic taxes paid for '08-'12 are as follows:


    2008 - ($643)
    2009- ($556)
    2010 - ($3,023)
    2011 - 1,284
    2012 - 780


    Not only did they not pay US Federal Corporate tax, they received $$ in return!
    26 Feb 2014, 08:49 AM Reply Like
  • philipmax
    , contributor
    Comments (421) | Send Message
    26 Feb 2014, 08:54 AM Reply Like
  • Felix Lumpe
    , contributor
    Comments (768) | Send Message
    Trot - very well stated. I would expect any company that I am invested in to take full advantage of every legal tax loophole that is available to them. To not do this would be criminal to their shareholders. This would be like an individual electing to not claim his home mortgage interest deduction in order to knowingly send more money to Washington so that the food stamp program can be further expanded.
    26 Feb 2014, 08:26 AM Reply Like
  • PeteCal
    , contributor
    Comments (90) | Send Message
    How many hundreds of thousands of workers are employed by these companies to manage the taxes? How many thousands of people work for the IRS enforcing the tax codes?


    Think where this nation would be if they were being put to work developing drugs , safer cars ,cleaner energy etc.


    But no, we waste their talents trying to outsmart each other.
    26 Feb 2014, 09:21 AM Reply Like
  • BlueOkie
    , contributor
    Comments (10507) | Send Message
    I'm a stockholder of GE. Glad they didn't pay any taxes. More money for me. I certainly paid taxes on the dividends. I'll pay taxes when I sell the stock. It is double taxation and totally unfair. If there were no corporate taxes, they'd come back to the US and create a lot of jobs.


    Ofcourse the article would have had more weight if written by the IRS.
    26 Feb 2014, 10:14 AM Reply Like
  • Bigt1942
    , contributor
    Comments (14) | Send Message
    Not true about No Corporate Taxes would create more jobs.


    What would result is more freaking money to the greedy stockholders. I think that the taxes on dividend to those who make >$100,000 should be double and that money should go to a Fund to help retrain the unemployed!!
    26 Feb 2014, 03:58 PM Reply Like
  • Wise Timmy
    , contributor
    Comments (298) | Send Message
    Why >100,000? Most people earn way less such a tax would do nothing for the unemployed because so little $ would be collected. And what do you suggest we retrain the unemployed for? We already have multiple retraining programs available to the unemployed at the state and federal level. The unemployed need help, but taxing investors out of spite achieves nothing.
    26 Feb 2014, 06:14 PM Reply Like
  • Noquiche
    , contributor
    Comments (247) | Send Message
    So..Corporations make money by selling goods bought with after tax dollars....They make income...which is taxed...then they pay shareholders with what remains...which is again taxed.... If said shareholder tries to pass those dividends on to the next generation it is once again taxed...Four taxes on the initial input into the system...seems reasonable.
    26 Feb 2014, 08:12 PM Reply Like
  • Hendershott
    , contributor
    Comments (1783) | Send Message
    Well, a lot of big corporations don't pay tax on their income and they aren't rushing back here to create jobs. Instead they lobby to bring in foreign engineers so they don't have to pay decent wages to qualified US citizens, who for some strange reason think 5-10-15 years of experience and education should be worth more than $40k/year.
    26 Feb 2014, 04:53 PM Reply Like
  • Wise Timmy
    , contributor
    Comments (298) | Send Message
    So start your own company. With 10-15 years of education, your must have the know how to make a buck and pay yourself and your employees big salaries.
    26 Feb 2014, 06:15 PM Reply Like
  • edhaven
    , contributor
    Comments (99) | Send Message
    The truth of the matter is, that no corporation 'pays taxes'. They do 'collect taxes' for the government. All expenses including taxes must be passed on to customers in order to make a profit.


    It's also nice that they have enough to pay dividends. Many of us like that.
    26 Feb 2014, 06:00 PM Reply Like
  • HeBeGB
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    I don’t post at all, until now…excuse me me whilest I get my soapbox.


    This argument about certain corporations not paying taxes is a bit bothersome. Follow along with a very simple example if you please:


    I own a small “C” corporation, have one shareholder (me) and two employees. After paying my employees, my corporation made a profit of $100,000 last year. With that $100,000, I can give my give my employees an end of year bonus, lower next year’s prices to my customers, or give my shareholder a dividend (on which he will pay taxes to the Federal government). Or I might choose to do all three! But wait, I forgot about the fact that the government wants 35% of that $100,000. So, to pay this tax, where do I get this money? Obviously, I don’t give that $35K to the shareholder, employees or customers. In effect, my corporation is really collecting taxes from them!


    Any corporation which is successful in not being a tax collector has my respect.


    And the politicians ain’t gonna do a thing about this because most people don’t see it this way; they see it as greedy corporations keeping the government’s money so they can pay their CEO’s outrageous salaries and bonuses. For politicians, it’s a sneaky way to raise money. Unfortunately, it comes at the expense of workers, shareholders, and job seekers. I own some GE, VZ, and at one time owned BA. I thank them for not collecting Federal Taxes from me.


    Sorry for the rant - most of you already knew this.
    26 Feb 2014, 06:02 PM Reply Like
  • d profitt
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    If you give your employees a bonus your C corp will deduct that bonus in determining its profits. If you paid out the 100,000 as a bonus then your profits would be reduced to zero and your corporate tax bill would be zero.
    Moreover the tax rate on 100,000 of net income is not 35%. You pay 15% on the first 50,000, 245% on the income over 50,000 upto 75,000 and 34% on the income from 75,000 to 100,000. The total taxes on that 100,000 is 22,500.
    26 Feb 2014, 09:48 PM Reply Like
  • pmeun69023
    , contributor
    Comments (10) | Send Message
    IS GM ON THE LIST? Yeah, the company that stuck it to us tax payers for billions and got even more billions to butter the uaw union thugs. Then got an exemption to make 125 billion in tax free profits. Let's get the CTJ (obama wing) to review that.
    26 Feb 2014, 09:31 PM Reply Like
  • taxman100
    , contributor
    Comments (620) | Send Message
    GE earned a lot of tax credits by building energy efficient products, such as windmills, new generators, airplane engines, etc.


    As stated before, Congress writes the tax laws, and the executive branch enforces them (well, they used to, now the executive branch picks and chooses which laws to enforce).


    With the tax code as written, only a corporation run by morons would be paying the marginal tax rate. There is just too many "incentives" written into the laws by politicians buying votes.
    26 Feb 2014, 11:44 PM Reply Like
  • Wise Timmy
    , contributor
    Comments (298) | Send Message
    Good point Taxman
    27 Feb 2014, 09:39 AM Reply Like
  • taxable
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    For all the savings GE has had with tax incentives they haven't used those saving to create jobs in the USA. Instead, they fixed India's unemployment problems with a steady pipeline of Indian IT workers, the numbers of which would make your eyes pop out.
    27 Feb 2014, 08:41 AM Reply Like
  • Wise Timmy
    , contributor
    Comments (298) | Send Message
    The have to do something with that money that is trapped overseas. They can't repatriate it because doing so would require giving 40% of it to Uncle Sam.


    Hence our high corporate tax rates are preventing GE and others from creating jobs in the USA.


    Or maybe you think they should stop selling products to foreigners.
    27 Feb 2014, 09:40 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8922) | Send Message
    Exports are the only thing keeping the US Government out of bankruptcy, and US society out of runaway inflation. The balance of trade and all that.
    27 Feb 2014, 12:22 PM Reply Like
  • minwyhe
    , contributor
    Comments (111) | Send Message
    Until companies are required to pay either a minimum tax regardless of where the income is generated or tax laws are revised to close loopholes for all income generated foreign or domestic what do you expect. Time for all the Republicans to change their way of thinking. All this rhetoric they promote about jobs and income equality is empty rhetoric and has been since the trickle down theory was debunked as a pack of lies.
    27 Feb 2014, 11:58 AM Reply Like
  • Noquiche
    , contributor
    Comments (247) | Send Message
    so has what is option 3?
    28 Feb 2014, 12:15 AM Reply Like
  • thomas85225
    , contributor
    Comments (552) | Send Message
    Boeing has sold off it fabrication plants



    Boeing now needs 27 Billion from the Washington state payer to build 259 777-X and a new factories.


    Washington Governor Jay Inslee, a Democrat, called the session to seek roughly
    8 billion in tax breaks, a streamlined permitting process for Boeing and $10 billion in funding for transportation improvements, and construction of 1.5 million square feet of new facilities in the Puget Sound Alone with the exiting 9 Billions to the year to 2040 27 Billions




    Subject: The Boeing Ripoff



    Boeing Cashes in on Corporate Welfare

    27 Feb 2014, 09:24 PM Reply Like
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