5 Corporations That Probably Aren’t Paying Taxes Today

While the average American taxpayer tends to dread April 15, not every person needs to get upset about Tax Day. These people (or, well, “people”), better known as corporations, have found that the existing tax rules actually work in their favor. Why bother stressing when you know that, in addition to making millions in profits, the U.S. government is going to be giving you a rebate?

To be clear, we don’t yet know what specific corporations are paying this year until that information becomes public. However, if filing reports from recent years are any indication, these five companies know some clever accounting tricks that will help them wriggle out of having to pay federal taxes.

1. General Electric 

The multibillion corporation has received rebates over the past 5%, and spent the better part of the early 2000s paying a tax rate of just 1%. In 2013, it was publicized that the company is making the most of lenient tax laws by stashing away over $100 billion in profits in Ireland where the tax rate is much lower.

2. Time Warner

The reviled telecommunication company not only has an effective monopoly over the internet for many Americans, it also has found tricks to rip off the IRS. Last year, the company took in $4.3 billion and still managed to secure a $26 million rebate from the government. I’m sure that’ll make you feel great the next time your router fails to connect.

3. Xerox

The company has a storied history of trying to dodge taxes – back in 2001, attempts to move money offshore actually backfired – but now it seems they’ve found the magic formula by, well, copying other corporations’ success. Last year, Xerox managed to pay nothing in taxes, and actually receive a $16 million rebate.

4. Mattel

The toy company offers both an unattainable portrayal of the female body with its Barbie dolls and an unattainable tax rebate with its 2014 filing. No average tax payer can realistically expect to match Mattel’s $46 million rebate, which means the company paid a tax rate of negative 17.3%.

5. Prudential

Perhaps it makes sense that a financial company would understand how to exploit the existing tax system and actually turn an additional profit off of it. In 2014, the company made $3.5 billion, and – rather than paying taxes on that – still got the U.S government to rebate it $106 million. This is hardly new behavior. In the past five years, Prudential has managed to make $468 million from the government in tax rebates. It must be nice!

While these corporations are some of the more egregious examples from recent years, they’re far from alone. As a report by the Citizens for Tax Justice declares, the average corporation pays under 20% in taxes, far short of the 35% corporate tax rate the United States purports to have.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

146 comments

Brenda Webster
Brenda Webster1 years ago

thanks for the article.

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven1 years ago

thanks for the article.

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill2 years ago

My first thought was, This is too much like Harry Reid saying Mitt Romney didn't pay taxes for 10 years.

We need to over haul our tax code and simplify it!

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Fi T.
Past Member 2 years ago

Besides rights, don't forget one's obligations

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James Maynard
James Maynard2 years ago

No well-run corporation ever pays
taxes. They build it into the price
of their product, so that you and I
wind up paying for them.....

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Robert Hamm
Robert Hamm2 years ago

It kills me that these corporations bitch because they have to pay higher taxes here than in China etc. China gives their people NOTHING. The workers like in dormitories. Their air is so dirty you cant see acorsss the street. Their water is so dirty they cant drink it from the tap. THEY ARE A 3RD WORLD COUNTRY!!! Which is truse of many of the countries these companies are doing business. OF COURSE their taxes is higher than here. It costs MONEY to NOT be a 3rd world country.

I am so sick of this damned argument. Throw these companies OUT of here and let our innovators step in and fill the void these parasitical companies leave on their departure.

TAXES is NOT UNPATRIOTIC!!! Its ONE of the things that made this country GREAT!!!


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Brenda Webster
Brenda Webster2 years ago

It was announced today, that our new Governor (Texas) and his wife paid a grand total of $104 in income taxes for 2014. They had a six figure income last year, but deductions cut the tax amount due to $104. That's a whole lot less than my son and his wife paid and while they both have good jobs, they didn't earn anywhere near six figures last year. My mind is boggled.

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Brian F.
Brian F2 years ago

American businesses face some serious challenges from taxes. But it's not due to America's tax rates, as many republicans would have you believe. Our corporate tax problems stem from a corporate tax code with so many perks, credits and loopholes in it that many U.S. multinational corporations pay little to no taxes. This starves our national budget and imperils public education, innovative research and infrastructure, the sort of public investments that help make our businesses and economy competitive. And, maybe even worse, it's unfair. Some of the most unfair corporate tax loopholes for America's competitive position in the world are the offshore tax loopholes. These loopholes alone cost the U.S. Treasury an estimated $90 billion a year. They also create an unfair playing field between domestic businesses and the large multinational firms, whose high priced tax attorneys and lobbyists have devised ways to shift profits earned in the United States to the world's tax haven countries where those profits are taxed lightly, if at all.

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Sara G.
Sara G2 years ago

Things won't change until "we the PEOPLE" wake up and take back our government.

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