Bail-outs to Tax Avoiders?

From INC. here are the top 30 corporations that paid no income tax last year. How many are asking for subsidies from real tax payers during the Coronavirus downturn?

“”The report finds that in 2018, 60 of America’s biggest corporations zeroed out their federal income taxes on $79 billion in U.S. pretax income,” the group’s press release said. “Instead of paying $16.4 billion in taxes at the 21 percent statutory corporate tax rate, these companies enjoyed a net corporate tax rebate of $4.3 billion.”

Here’s the list of the top 30 U.S. companies that ITEP says managed to pay zero income taxes, ranked in order of how much money the companies made to begin with (in parenthesis):

  • Amazon.com ($10.84 billion)
  • Delta Air Lines ($5.07 billion)
  • Chevron ($4.55 billion)
  • General Motors ($4.32 billion)
  • EOG Resources ($4.07 billion)
  • Occidental Petroleum ($3.38 billion)
  • Duke Energy ($3.03 billion)
  • Dominion Resources ($3.02 billion)
  • Honeywell International ($2.83 billion)
  • Deere ($2.15 billion)
  • American Electric Power ($1.94 billion)
  • Kinder Morgan ($1.78 billion)
  • Public Service Enterprise Group ($1.77 billion)
  • Principal Financial ($1.64 billion)
  • FirstEnergy ($1.50 billion)
  • Prudential Financial ($1.44 billion)
  • Xcel Energy ($1.43 billion)
  • PulteGroup ($1.34 billion)
  • Molson Coors ($1.33 billion)
  • Devon Energy ($1.30 billion)
  • Pioneer Natural Resources ($1.25 billion)
  • DTE Energy ($1.22 billion)
  • Wisconsin Energy ($1.14 billion)
  • PPL ($1.11 billion)
  • Halliburton ($1.08 billion)
  • Ameren ($1.04 billion)
  • Netflix ($856 million billion)
  • Salesforce.com ($800 million)
  • CMS Energy ($774 billion)
  • Rockwell Collins ($719 billion)

You can find the rest of the list here.

Medicynical note: Thanks to our Supreme Court these entities are provided the rights of citizens and are able to provide unlimited campaign donations. As such, shouldn’t they they should also have the same right to pay taxes, at the same rate as other citizens? And, given the current law, is it fair to use real tax payers funds to bail them out?

My modest proposal is to selectively tax the still profitable non-tax paying corporations and use these funds in the bailout. After all they are citizens and we all must be united in sharing the pleasure and yes, the pain.

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