Society

You’ve Heard of These Companies – But Did You Know They Pay Less In Taxes Than You Do?

| by Lina Batarags

No one likes tax day. No one. The only thing worse than handing over your hard-earned money is knowing that there are corporations, yes corporations, out there who pay less in taxes than you do.

According to the Daily Beast, included among the list of companies that don’t have to pay taxes are recognizable names such as Metro PCS Communications, Boeing, Verizon Communications and Priceline.com.

Although all corporations start out with a flat 35 percent federal tax rate, many manage to inch this number down to lower rates. In some cases, they even manage to whittle this number down to zero.

In fact, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has shown that U.S. corporations, on average, pay less than 13 percent in taxes; these lowered figures are achieved by taking advantage of credits, exemptions and offshore tax havens.

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Furthermore, the GAO has found that in at least one year between 1998 and 2005, more than one half of these corporations reported owing no federal taxes at all.

Another study examined 280 of America’s largest companies and the taxes they paid in 2008, 2009 and 2010. All of these companies were Fortune 500 companies whose pre-tax profit over that period totaled a whopping $1.4 trillion.

And yet, despite their sizeable income, a quarter of these companies paid federal taxes at rates lower than 10%; 30 of these companies paid no income tax at all between 2008 and 2010.

The advocacy group Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) ran a study from which they determined that 26 Fortune 500 corporations paid no federal corporate income tax over the most recent five-year period.

In fact, some of these corporations generated so many tax breaks that they actually reported negative taxes, and were able to receive rebate checks. Leading this list are Paccar Rate and MetroPCS Communications, both of whom reported a -0.1% rate.

For your viewing pleasure – or envy – The Daily Beast provided a list of 26 corporations and their 2008-2012 tax rates:

1. Pepco Holdings -33.0%

2. PG&E Corp. -16.7%

3. NiSource -13.6%

4. Wisconsin Energy -13.5%

5. General Electric -11.1%

6. CenterPoint Energy -8.5%

7. Integrys Energy Group -8.2%

8. Atmos Energy -7.7%

9. Tenet Healthcare-6.0%

10. American Electric Power -5.8%

11. Ryder System -4.7%

12. Con-way -3.5%

13. Duke Energy -3.3%

14. Priceline.com -3.0%

15. FirstEnergy -3.0%

16. Apache -2.4%

17. Interpublic Group -2.1%

18. Verizon Communications -1.8%

19. NextEra Energy -1.6%

20. Consolidated Edison -.1%

21. CMS Energy -1.1%

22. Boeing -1.0%

23. Northeast Utilities-0.7%

24. Corning -0.3%

25. Paccar Rate -0.1%

26. MetroPCS Communications -0.1%

Sources: http://www.thedailybeast.com, http://www.dailyfinance.com

Photo Sources: http://www.topaccountingdegrees.com, http://freedom-articles.toolsforfreedom.com