Two weeks ago it was announced that the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the world sparking furious debate from Fox News types concerned about corporate well being. At RAN, we decided to dig a little deeper to see whether the corporate tax rate really is unfairly penalizing multi billion dollar corporations. Our discovery? The actual corporate tax rate may not matter when corporations don’t pay anything close to it anyway.
By Becky Tarbotton, published on Rainforest Action Network’s The Understory
RAN’s new “Top 10 Dirty Corporate Tax Dodgers of 2011” infographic reviewed top bank, oil and coal companies: Bank of America, Citi, JPMorganChase, Wells Fargo, Chevron, Exxon, ConocoPhillips, Arch Coal, Alpha Natural Resources and Peabody Energy. We found that none of these ten companies paid anything close to the 35% corporate tax rate. In fact, Bank of America and Alpha Natural Resources paid no taxes at all.
Collectively, these ten corporations made a profit of $189.178 billion while only paying $13.34 billion in taxes in 2011. If they had paid the 35% corporate tax rate it would have put $52.87 billion back into the economy. It begs the question, what do the rest of us get while the government allows big business to game the system?