Many big U.S. corporations pay very little in taxes: study

Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:05pm EST
 
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By Kevin Drawbaugh and Patrick Temple-West

(Reuters) - Many of the most profitable U.S. corporations paid little or no federal income tax from 2008 to 2012, according to a five-year study issued on Tuesday by a left-leaning tax activist group.

Citizens for Tax Justice looked at 288 profitable Fortune 500 companies and said that 26 of them - including Boeing Co (BA.N: Quote), General Electric Co (GE.N: Quote) and Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N: Quote) - paid no federal income tax in the five-year period.

The group also said that 111 of the 288 companies paid no federal income tax in at least one of the five years measured.

In a reflection of how the tax code's complexity leaves many issues open to question, corporations sometimes dispute the way Citizens for Tax Justice calculates its numbers.

Some of the companies singled out took exception to the findings. GE spokesman Seth Martin said: "For each year cited by Citizens for Tax Justice, GE paid income taxes in the U.S., as well as billions in other state, local and federal taxes in the

U.S."

He added, "CTJ inaccurately uses the current tax provision - a book accounting number - to make definitive statements about our U.S. income taxes. This is not the same as the cash income tax that we pay for a given year."

A key player in Washington's tax debate, Citizens for Tax Justice regularly issues studies making similar findings about corporate taxes. U.S. lawmakers often cite them in criticizing the tax code as too complex and riddled with loopholes.   Continued...

 
The Boeing logo is seen at their headquarters in Chicago, April 24, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young