10 Biggest U.S. Corporations Paid 9 Percent Tax Rate in 2011

Heard about corporations complaining that they are paying too much in taxes?

Actually, no. According to the financial site NerdWallet, the 10 most profitable U.S. companies paid an average federal tax rate of just 9 percent last year. The group includes heavyweights like Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Apple, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase and General Electric.

Why can’t we all pay the same rate? Ask your tax accountant.

Thinkprogress reports that the two companies with the lowest tax rates were these two oil companies: ExxonMobil paid $1.5 billion in taxes on $73.3 billion in earnings, a tax rate of 2 percent, and Chevronís tax rate was just 4 percent.

None of the companies paid anywhere near the 35 percent top corporate tax rate, providing more evidence to debunk claims that Americaís corporate tax rate is stunting economic growth and job creation.

In fact, American corporations pay one of the lowest effective corporate tax rates in the world. Mitt Romney, what do you have to say about that?

From Thinkprogress:

The study also calculated the overall amount the companies owed in both domestic and foreign taxes. This includes deferred taxes that will, theoretically, be paid in the future, once the companies bring foreign profits back to the United States. Apple, for instance, avoided $2.4 billion in American taxes last year by utilizing offshore tax havens.

If Republicans have their way, however, those deferred taxes may never be paid. Switching to a territorial tax system, a policy leading Republicans have considered, would allow corporations to repatriate foreign profits back to the United States nearly free of taxation, costing the country billions of dollars and thousands of jobs.

The effective corporate tax rate has been on its way down for decades, recently hitting a 40-year low even as corporate profits have reached an all-time high.

And here’s another interesting fact: many of the companies that have seen their tax rates fall in recent years, including Exxon Mobil, Verizon, General Electric and AT&T, are among the biggest spenders when it comes to lobbying, according to a recent analysis by the Sunlight Foundation.

Some interesting food for thought.

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139 comments

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle3 years ago

OBSCENE. I don't know what the corporate tax rate should be -- we want innovation from companies -- but 2% is ridiculous. And aren't these the companies that still get subsidizes by Congressional law? I do know that no company should avoid paying taxes by putting their money off-shore!

Lynn Squance
Lynn Squance3 years ago

9%????? That is obscene! When these companies were either getting started or growing but still young, they had the help of government which is 'we the people'. Now that 'we the people' need help, where are these corporations? Crying foul! It is time to belly up to the bar boys. Corporations MUST PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE!

Mitchell D.
Mitchell D.3 years ago

And these are the companies that get federal subsidies, and cry about the welfare system. Corporate welfare is well and thriving!

Philip E.
Philip E.3 years ago

Looking at the total dollar amount of taxes collected from all sources by the IRS, what percentage of the overall total did the top 10 corporations pay?

Bruce K.
Bruce K.3 years ago

the question was asked by the author : "Mitt Romney, what do you have to say about that?"

If you watched 60 minutes interview he answered that: "Remove the deductions available to them"


JT SMITH
JT SMITH3 years ago

When I voted in the poll "Should corporations pay the same tax rate as the rest of us?" I voted Yes. I would have said No, but I realize that would be misunderstood. Really, even my Yes vote is somewhat inaccurate as I think that corporations should be paying MORE in taxes than the rest of us. The reason being that they have that much more money than the rest of us.

As for media bias, well, it's pretty well ALL biased. I prefer getting my news from the BBC as they at least do their best to remain neutral (that isn't to say that they always succeed), and they have a long history of doing just that. Basically, they're quite willing to call a spade a shovel, and call out whatever politician stepped in it majorly this time, regardless of what political party said politician belongs to. While it is a journalist's duty to remain neutral in their reporting, the fact remains that journalists are still human (regardless of their credentials), and will therefore have their own biases that they need to take into account. Since absolutely no one is perfect in this world, it's safe to say that even the best intentioned of journalists don't always succeed.

JT SMITH
JT SMITH3 years ago

When I voted in the poll "Should corporations pay the same tax rate as the rest of us?" I voted Yes. I would have said No, but I realize that would be misunderstood. Really, even my Yes vote is somewhat inaccurate as I think that corporations should be paying MORE in taxes than the rest of us. The reason being that they have that much more money than the rest of us.

As for media bias, well, it's pretty well ALL biased. I prefer getting my news from the BBC as they at least do their best to remain neutral (that isn't to say that they always succeed), and they have a long history of doing just that. Basically, they're quite willing to call a spade a shovel, and call out whatever politician stepped in it majorly this time, regardless of what political party said politician belongs to. While it is a journalist's duty to remain neutral in their reporting, the fact remains that journalists are still human (regardless of their credentials), and will therefore have their own biases that they need to take into account. Since absolutely no one is perfect in this world, it's safe to say that even the best intentioned of journalists don't always succeed.

Toby Seiler
Toby S.3 years ago

David F, HA, HA. HA, Really...you say; " while some supposedly conservative outlets—such as the Washington Times or Fox News Special Report—do lean right, their conservative bias is less than the liberal bias of most mainstream outlets".

It's NOT "coservative bias"... it's tea party HATE, built upon BUSH LIES that are the real issue. I'm "conservative" and have come to fear Romney, especially combined with Ryan even more than Obama. These guys are nuts and in the pocket of the bankers and corporations that are forcing economic hardship on the vast majority of America.

I see this is hashed over by Kevin and Michael quite well, so there is little to say. PHD or not, the study clearly was conducted with extreme bias itself. All one has to do is go back and forth between sources to see that rabid Tea Party hate has overtaken the Republican party and it's reflected in thier "offering" of news. I could add a few to that very bias R list, but I see you make no attempt to identify the other side, except by generalizations.

I think your seeing a general shift that you don't like and feel a need to cover for the Republican party. They were "my party" untill the Bush lies and then Obama hate convinced me they had lost their moral compass and were truly destroying the republic.

The above statement is obviously false to any reasonable person that does not share your bias and hate for Obama.

Michael G.
Michael T.3 years ago

David. You have just sealed your own fate in regard to being taken seriously again by your insistence in proving the truth in the following.

"When ideology is involved, truth is the first casualty." ―Tim Callanan

Since you have already determined that it can't be true David, you willingly sacrifice the truth. Good now we are clear once again that you can't engage the intellect on this subject.



Michael G.
Michael T.3 years ago

As you said “Of course if you look at his study with any depth, it is a total house of cards engineered to bring about the end result he wanted.” I have been using two quotes recently that address this very issue. That being
"When ideology is involved, truth is the first casualty." ―Tim Callanan
"When dogma enters the brain, all intellectual activity ceases." ―Robert Anton Wilson

Your words about Fox, and Limbaugh are important because here we have one arm of the media who are in the business to bring in revenues and draw advertising dollars. Any veracity they might claim is sold down the river on how they paid. Just as Groseclose sought right wing organizations to support and pay for publishing his work.