Free Ride! Meet the Companies That Don't Even Pretend to Pay Taxes

Lynn Parramore reports that

...many outsized firms pay nothing at all, as General Electric famously managed to do in 2010, despite showing $10.5 billion in profits. GE is not alone. According to a report from Citizens for Tax Justice, 37 of the biggest American corporations did not pay one red cent in taxes in 2010.

...a growing breed of firms that are classified as “non-taxable.” That’s right. These firms pay zilch. Nada. Zippo.

... a special structure known as a pass through, in which profits are passed along to investors who pay taxes on those sums through their individual returns. The exception has been around for decades, but lately Congress and state governments have broadened it to encourage “entrepreneurship.”

The percentage of U.S. corporations structured as “nontaxable businesses” soared from about 24 percent in 1986 to about 69 percent as of 2008, according to the Internal Revenue Service. If you include partnerships and sole proprietors, the number gets even bigger.

Up to 60 percent of all U.S. businesses with profits of $1 million are structured as pass-throughs.

The pass-through structure, in addition to being unfair, encourages fraud that the Internal Revenue Service has a hard time spotting. S corporations, partnerships and other pass-throughs game the system by underreporting income and overstating deductions. Billions in uncollected taxes each year are the result of this scamming.

In an era of laid-off school teachers, uninsured children, widespread joblessness, and crumbling roads and bridges, this is nothing short of obscene.[emphasis mine]

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Replies to This Discussion

Corporations, churches and taxes, sooo…. much in common.

Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy reviewed 280 Fortune 500 companies and found that on average they paid about half of the 35% federal income tax rate. 30 corporations had a negative rate, i.e. they received. Guest host Brian Unger breaks it down with Jayar Jackson on The Young Turks.

Unfortunately, no surprise....

Many of these large corporations besides ruining the middle class structure of this country - also are the largest polluters and a major use of energy - of which they do not pay their fair share. The middle class also gets stuck sucking up the difference - exactly like they do in taxes that these corporations do not pay.

Hedge Funds use "carried interest."

A Single Hedge-Fund Hustler Makes More Than 85,000 Teachers: Why Ar...

The top hedge fund guru, Raymond Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, hauled in $3 billion, which comes to a whopping $1,442,308 an HOUR, (assuming he worked 40 hours a week for 52 weeks.)

It would take the typical U.S. family 29.2 YEARS to earn as much as Mr. Dalio earned in one HOUR.

Hedge funds take advantage of the “carried interest” loophole which allows much of their income to be taxed at the 15 percent rate instead of the top rate of 35 percent. Each time Congress tries to close this outrageous loophole, hedge fund money and lobbying makes sure the bills fade away. [emphasis mine]

GE propaganda blitz: corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.

GE Unleashes Propaganda Campaign To Hide Its Tiny Tax Burden and Ma...

No corporation has surpassed General Electic's mastery of profit-maximization, or its use of public-relations ("corporate propaganda") to mask its true aims...

... in 2010 while paying no federal income taxes .... GE not only avoided paying any taxes, but even managed to collect $3.2 billion in federal tax credits. This occurred against a backdrop of GE continuing to slash its U.S. workforce by 32,000 jobs, from 165,000 to 133,000 over the 2004-2010 period.

Kicking off with the Super Bowl, GE has been filling the airwaves with ads aimed not at selling GE products to consumers, but at reassuring U.S. citizens...

GE also appears to be utilizing "third-party" voices—conservatives who show up repeatedly on TV talk shows—to defend the company's tax record,...

"The major media never check on the discrepancy on GE's job forecasts and the actual number of jobs they produce,"... [emphasis mine]




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