In the past three years, more than a dozen major U.S. companies’ domestic profits totaled $77 billion, without any expectation that they would have to pay federal taxes on their bounties immediately. In fact, according to a new study, they have not spent a dollar to pay the current federal taxes since Donald Trump began to cut taxes on businesses in the first year of his presidency.
Before Trump assumed the presidency, many of these companies paid billions of dollars in annual taxes each year.
For example, in the past three years, Salesforce.com’s pre-tax revenue was $4.2 billion. But since 2018, the software company has not allocated any money to pay federal taxes. In fact, since 201
A Salesforce spokesperson did not answer CBS MoneyWatch’s question about how much tax the company has paid.
This research comes from the liberal tax and economic policy research institute and comes at a time when the national debate about whether companies should pay reasonable taxes is heating up.This week, President Joe Biden stated that he hopes to substantially increase the corporate tax rate to help pay for a $2 trillion, This may cost the federal government trillions of dollars.
on Friday,It is “a generational investment in the future, paid by large companies that require large companies to pay their fair share, but large companies do not have to pay taxes at all.
Earlier this week,Increase the amount of tax paid by U.S. companies in federal taxes by $2 trillion in the next ten years. It includes a minimum corporate tax rate of 15% based on the company’s reported income to investors.
What is the corporate tax under the Biden plan?
If Mr. Biden’s plan is implemented, the 26 profitable companies highlighted in the ITEP study will pay a total of at least $11.6 billion in federal taxes since 2018, instead of the nearly $5 billion in tax credits they collected at the time. .
ITEP senior researcher and one of the authors of the study, Matthew Gardner (Matthew Gardner) said: “There are already suspicions that large companies are not paying their due share.” “Such findings will support this view.”
Although it is clear that the company pays far less taxes than Trump paid before the tax cut, it is uncertain how much tax a given company pays. Reason: Like individuals, companies can also keep their tax declarations and payments confidential.
However, public companies that report their profits to investors must also provide a rough estimate in their financial documents of how much taxes they may pay in the next 12 months and any taxes they may face in the future. They are also required to specify who these taxes may be paid, such as the federal government, state, or foreign government.
ITEP research zeroed out the current federal income tax amounts for companies listed in the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index for the past three years. Traditionally, accounting experts have stated that this number is a good estimate of the federal tax that the company may have to pay. What is less useful is that the 2017 tax cut law has reduced the reliability of this figure.
For example, ITEP determines FedEx as a company that has not paid federal taxes in the past three years.ThisThe statement said it refused to disclose the specific amount while paying annual federal income taxes. FedEx’s financial statements show that its cash account (a measure of corporate earnings) has decreased by $400 million due to tax payments over the past three years.
Extremely low tax rate
However, the taxes paid by many American companies may arouse the jealousy of individual taxpayers. Recent financial reports show that Zoom’s revenue and profits have increased substantially in the first half of the year., Have Although the revenue of video conferencing companies hit a record high.
According to CBS MoneyWatch’s analysis of FactSet data, the median effective corporate tax for S&P 500 companies last year was only 18%, down from 23% in 2017. It is worth noting that this is all taxes paid. Looking only at the federal income tax, the effective tax rate of those companies may be much lower.
For example, in the past three years, Duke Energy’s pre-tax profit in the United States has approached $8 billion. According to ITEP data, Duke University not only paid zero federal taxes during this period, but also included more than $1.2 billion in federal income tax credits.
In response to this research, Duke Energy told the New York Times that investment in renewable energy enabled the company to delay but not eliminate its federal tax obligations. The company’s most recent annual financial report recorded $9 billion in future federal tax liabilities.
ITEP researchers said that despite the substantial profits, other major companies have not paid federal taxes in recent years, including TV and Internet provider Dish Network and sports equipment company Nike.
On Friday, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont responded to the study, saying that a pair of $120 Nike Air Force 1 shoes is more expensive than the company’s in the past three years. The tax paid in is high.
A Nike spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
ITEP also identified 55 companies that made money in the past, but it does not appear to pay any federal taxes on these profits. For example, research shows that the cable company Charter Communications made $3.6 billion during the pandemic but received a tax credit of $7 million last year.
Charter News did not respond to a request for comment.