The corporate tax dodgers hit list

These companies paid little or no federal income tax between 2008 and 2011.

By Wall St. Cheat Sheet May 16, 2012 2:29PM

Image: Taxes (© Peter Gridley/Photographer)Forget Taxmageddon, Washington already has tax issues it is avoiding. Last year, Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy issued a report on federal income taxes paid -- or not paid -- by large corporations.

Although the U.S. corporate tax rate is 35%, the study found that the average tax rate of the 280 S&P 500 companies investigated was only 18.5% between 2008 and 2010. Furthermore, 30 of the companies paid no net federal income tax in the same period. Now, the Citizens for Tax Justice has updated the report to reflect information for the 2011 tax year.

Twenty-six of the original 30 tax dodgers managed to keep a negative federal income tax rate after 2011 taxes were figured, meaning they still made more money after tax than before tax between 2008 and 2011. Three out of the remaining four companies paid four-year effective tax rates of less than 4%. The company at the bottom of the list paid a 2008 to 2011 tax rate of almost 11%.

As the report explains, "Had these 30 companies paid the full 35% corporate tax rate over the 2008-2011 period, they would have paid $78.3 billion more in federal income taxes. Or put another way, over the four years, the 30 companies received more than $78 billion in total tax subsidies."

Listed below are the 30 corporations with the lowest federal income tax rates on U.S. profits between 2008 and 2011, according to CTJ:

  1. Pepco Holdings Inc. (POM): -39.5%
  2. General Electric Co. (GE): -18.9%
  3. PG&E Corp. (PCG): -18.4%
  4. Wisconsin Energy  Corp. (WEC): -13.2%
  5. NiSource Inc. (NI): -13.0%
  6. Paccar Inc. (PCAR): -13.0%
  7. Integrys Energy Group Inc. (TEG): -11.6%
  8. CenterPoint Energy Inc. (CNP): -11.3%
  9. Atmos Energy Corp. (ATO): -9.6%
  10. Tenet Healthcare Corp. (THC): -8.2%
  11. American Electric Power Inc. (AEP): -6.4%
  12. Boeing Co. (BA): -5.5%
  13. Ryder System Inc. (R): -5.4%
  14. Con-way Inc. (CNW): -5.4%
  15. Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ): -3.8%
  16. Duke Energy Corp. (DUK): -3.5%
  17. Interpublic Group Inc. (IPG): -2.5%
  18. NextEra Energy Inc. (NEE): -2.0%
  19. CMS Energy Corp. (CMS): -1.4%
  20. Navistar International Corp. (NAV): -1.3%
  21. Consolidated Edison Inc. (ED): -1.3%
  22. Mattel Inc. (MAT): -0.9%
  23. El Paso Corp. (EP): -0.9%
  24. Baxter International Inc. (BAX): -0.6%
  25. Apache Corp. (APA): -0.3%
  26. Corning Inc. (GLW): -0.2%
  27. DTE Energy Co. (DTE): 0.2%
  28. Honeywell International Inc. (HON): 2.0%
  29. Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC): 3.8%
  30. DuPont Co. (DD): 10.9%

According to the CTJ  study, corporate taxes made up only 1.2% of our gross domestic product over the past three fiscal years. "That's lower than at any time since the 1940s," the study notes, "except for one single year during President Reagan's first term." In the 1960s, by contrast, corporate taxes made up almost 4% of GDP.

Eric McWhinnie is an editor at Wall St. Cheat Sheet. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned stocks.

More from Wall St. Cheat Sheet

May 19, 2012 8:52AM

Why do we put up with these hidden sales taxes?  When you tax Exxon, do you think for one second that the price at the pump does not include this tax? 


This is just a great gimmic thought up by Democrats.  We can tax and rail against the evil corporations, all the while fleecing their customers, and they will like the idea!   It really is humorous!   How about we bring back the excess profit taxes on oil companies?  That should add .40-.50 cents a gallon, just like it did under Carter!   Except the oil companies listed the TAX right on the pump.  Once the people saw who was paying the tax it went away damn  fast! 


I guess if it were not for these hidden sales taxes, 50% of the people would pay zero.


How about this... we do away with individual income taxes and tax those evil corporations even more?   We can raise the corporate tax rate the amount needed to compensate for no more income taxes!   It will become a  vat TAX just like in Europe!  Everyone will be taxed equally!  No more progressive confiscation!  Lets get those evil corporations, and hope they don't move overseas!

May 16, 2012 7:46PM
This is no surprise. They helped write the laws.
May 16, 2012 9:35PM
Maybe a little AMT for corporations would serve them good. We have to pay a minimum tax after all.
May 17, 2012 8:33PM

Somebody is not very bright here...

All of these companies paid millions of people to work.  It's called gave them JOBS.  everyone paid income tax... everyone bought something, CALLED sales tax. They paid half of their S.S. tax,, and you have the right to say they paid none or neg. taxes????

you might should do a little research.

May 17, 2012 8:38PM

Oh yes.. Why do you are anybody call them tax dodgers???  YOUR elected D.C. bumbs

wrote the laws,  TAX payers have never, never been able to write their own idea as to how to pay their taxes.  YOU elected them so stop bitching at the corp. and business owners.

May 17, 2012 3:42AM
carl when a corporation sells out the american people its not treason its called free trade.when a senator sells his vote its not called treason its called a campaign contribution.
May 16, 2012 8:02PM
This is a list of US corporations that are committing treason.  If this continues, there will be a civil war.  
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