30 Top Corporations Paid US No Taxes, Despite Profit

Few companies actually pay 35% rate
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2011 7:46 AM CDT
In this file photo taken Oct. 14, 2009, the General Electric (GE) logo is shown on a microwave oven at Best Buy in Mountain View, Calif.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

(Newser) – America may have a lofty 35% corporate tax rate—but who actually pays that? A new study from a pair of left-leaning think tanks examined 280 Fortune 500 companies from 2008-2010, and found that their average effective rate was 18.5%, with a quarter paying less than 10% and 30 paying no taxes at all, despite being profitable, Reuters reports. Least taxed of all was Pepco Holdings, a DC power company with an effective rate of negative 57.6%.

The free-ride list also included Boeing, Wells Fargo, and, of course, General Electric, according to the New York Times; Wells Fargo wound up with a tax benefit of $651 million, despite $49 billion in profit. While all the tricks companies used to shrink their bills were legal, the report’s authors chided them anyway, noting that “the laws were not enacted in a vacuum; they were adopted in response to relentless corporate lobbying.” (Read more General Electric stories.)

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