As many taxpayers scramble to pay their taxes due in four days, massive corporations around the country have nothing to worry about. They've reported that they do not owe the government any taxes for the billions of dollars they profited last year, according to a Center for Public Integrity article republished by NBC.
At least 60 companies reported that their federal tax rates in 2018 were close to zero, or even under zero for income earned on U.S. enterprises, according to a study published Thursday by Washington, D.C. think tank, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The 2018 figure is over double the number that the ITEP found on average in earlier years, before Trump's new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act took effect.
The companies include giants like Amazon.com Inc. and Netflix Inc. as well as global oil corporation Chevron Corp. and equipment manufacturer Deere & Co.
The companies were "able to zero out their federal income taxes on $79 billion in U.S. pretax income," the ITEP report released today stated. "Instead of paying $16.4 billion in taxes, as the new 21 percent corporate tax rate requires, these companies enjoyed a net corporate tax rebate of $4.3 billion, blowing a $20.7 billion hole in the federal budget last year."
The ITEP analysis examined the 2018 financial filings of the biggest 560 publicly-held companies in the country. The Tax Cuts and Job Act, approved by President Donald Trump in December 2017, slashed corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 21 percent. It was a significant factor for corporations to wiggle their way out of paying taxes, said ITEP senior fellow and lead study author Matthew Gardner.
Gardner said that the new corporate tax rate "lowers the bar for the amount of tax avoidance it takes to get you down to zero."
He wrote in the report: "The specter of big corporations avoiding all income taxes on billions in profits sends a strong and corrosive signal to Americans: that the tax system is stacked against them, in favor of corporations and the wealthiest Americans.”