Thirty companies paid no U.S. income tax 2008-2010: report

Thu Nov 3, 2011 1:56pm EDT
 
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By Kevin Drawbaugh

(Reuters) - Thirty large and profitable U.S. corporations paid no income taxes in 2008 through 2010, said a study on Thursday that arrives as Congress faces rising demands for tax reform but seems unable or unwilling to act.

Pepco Holdings Inc, a Washington, D.C.-area power company, had the lowest effective tax rate, at negative 57.6 percent, among the 280 Fortune 500 companies studied.

The statutory U.S. corporate income tax rate is 35 percent, one of the highest in the world; but over the 2008-2010 period, very few of the companies studied paid it, said the report.

The average effective tax rate for the companies over the period was 18.5 percent, said Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, both think tanks.

Their report also listed General Electric Co, Paccar Inc, PG&E Corp, Computer Sciences Corp, Boeing Co and NiSource Inc as among the 30 that paid no taxes.

(For a related graphic, click on r.reuters.com/ryb84s).

Corporations will say rightly that the loopholes that let them slash their taxes were perfectly legal, the report said.

"But that does not mean that low-tax corporations bear no responsibility ... The laws were not enacted in a vacuum; they were adopted in response to relentless corporate lobbying, threats and campaign support," the report said.   Continued...