Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Corporate taxes down, workers’ taxes up–that’s America today

by Linda Beale

Corporate taxes down, workers’ taxes up–that’s America today

Corporate taxes used to constitute a significant portion of federal revenues, almost a third in 1950.  Payroll taxes from workers were considerably less–around 10% in 1950.  Andrew Leonard, Who Really Pays Taxes? Salon.com (Aug. 28, 2012).
The times have changed.  Corporate taxes have declined steeply in the 21st century as a percent of GDP, while payroll taxes paid by workers have become a significant part of tax revenues–more than a third in 2007.

That is one cause of the inordinate inequality of income and wealth that this country now endures–an inequality that has dire consequences for the economy and for the well-being or the vast majority of ordinary Americans.

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RS goofing on foreign trust letters, says AICPA

by Linda Beale

RS goofing on foreign trust letters, says AICPA

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is asking the IRS Commissioner to resolve what it suggests is a “widespread problem” for taxpayers.  Download AICPA Letter to IRS on Erroneous Form 3520 Letters to Taxapyers.082812.   For 2010 and earlier years, the IRS apparently has made a wide range of systemic mistakes in processing the form required to be filed annually by owners of a foreign trust–Forms 3520, the Annual Return to Report Transactions with Foreign Trusts and REceipt of Certain Foreign Gifts.
  The AICPA reports errors including:

  • instructions to fill out Part II about ownership of a foreign trust, when the taxpayer is not the owner of a foreign grantor trust;
  • instructions to provide additional information required when a taxpayer answers a question “yes” when the question on the form was answered “no”;
  • instructions to provide identifying information required to be submitted when the information was already submitted; and
  • insturctions to provide an explanatory statementwhen such statement was already submitted.

This looks like one of those kinds of things that happen when staffing at a government agency is reduced beyond what is reasonable for the kinds of tasks that have to be carried out. 

Query–isn’t it likely that the right’s  (and now officially the GOP’s) drive to reduce staffing at all levels of government agencies (except, of course, for the right’s pet project, expansion of the military) likely to increase the headaches for ordinary citizens because those government agencies simply won’t be able to get their jobs done well with the reduced staffing and morale problems that will cause?

cross posted with ataxingmatter

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Not many flee because of taxes…Dow Jones gets real

by Linda Beale

Dow Jones video admits there’s not much other than anecdotal tales that even millionaires readily move from one state to another to avoid taxes

OK.  Admittedly long title.  But you get the point.  The anti-tax gurus are forever saying that states (and countries) can’t increase taxes from our historically very low point because those that would pay them are the rich and the rich have the means of moving away.

But do they?  There are lots of things that come into whether one is willing to move or not–from weather to family to friends to business to custom to, yes maybe, taxes.   So if a gazillioinaire moves to another state and then is asked–did you do it to save on taxes?, he might say yes (he knows his views may influence policy inordinately) but it might not even have been a factor or it might have been a minor factor or it might even in unusual circumstances have been the primary factor.

So it’s good to see a Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal video that admits that is the case.  Not unsurprisingly (since it is, after all, a Wall Street Journal video) the title is “millionaires fleeing taxes” (Aug. 27, 2012), and the blurb underneath states (as though it were fact) “when states raise taxes, millionaires move out”.  But that isn’t really what the video interview says.

The video admits that there are no good studies that show that millionaires actually move from one state to another because of tax increases.

Yeah, elderly wealthy move to Florida, but that isn’t necessarily to avoid taxes and in fact may well not be related to taxes at all.  Yeah, there are anecdotal stories that people move because of taxes, but there’s no real proof.  The video acknowledges that there are many other reasons for choosing where to have one’s primary residence, and that manipulation of residence can create problems.  As the video says, “You can show residency in a state by living there a certain amount of time. …. You have to be very very careful, though.  States are being very aggressive about collecting from everybody and determining who actually lives there.”

cross posted with ataxingmatter

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Is That It for Financial Crisis Cases?

Peter J. Henning, a colleague of Linda Beale, poses the question in the NYT:

Is That It for Financial Crisis Cases?

Last week turned out to be a good one for Goldman Sachs. The Justice Department closed a criminal investigation of the firm and its chief executive, Lloyd C. Blankfein, and the firm disclosed that the Securities and Exchange Commission had decided not to pursue a civil fraud case related to a subprime mortgage deal.
When the story of the financial crisis is finally written, this may turn out to be the denouement of the government’s investigations of Wall Street for potential wrongdoing that contributed to the financial crisis in 2008.

Investment banks like Goldman load their disclosure documents with plenty of generic disclaimers that can support a defense that no one sought to mislead buyers. It may not be so much a matter of weak laws as the requirement to show beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant had the intent to commit a crime, a significant barrier to successfully prosecuting any fraud case.
And proving a perjury case is even more difficult because it must be shown that the defendant intentionally lied, not just that the testimony was incomplete or inaccurate. Whether Goldman’s position was “massive” or not looks to be a matter of degree, making it almost impossible to prove perjury.

The S.E.C.’s decision was a bit more surprising because the enforcement division told Goldman in February that it planned to recommend civil charges against the firm related to its sale of a $1.3 billion mortgage-backed security. Goldman had already settled allegations in 2010 about how it structured a collateralized debt obligation known as Abacus, so even if the S.E.C. had pursued another case, it was unlikely to contain any major new revelations about systemic misconduct.


It does not look as if any other criminal cases against other banks are likely to emerge from the financial crisis now that four years have gone by. The Justice Department has already passed on cases against executives from firms like Countrywide Financialand the American International Group, and nothing else seems to be drawing the attention of prosecutors at this point.

New laws would not make it any more likely that senior executives could be pursued unless they included liability as a “responsible corporate officer” for the conduct of underlings without having to prove an executive’s knowledge or recklessness.
Wall Street would be sure to put up quite a fight if expansive criminal prohibitions were introduced that made it easier to prosecute senior managers for the violations of lower-level employees. The pushback in Congress against the Dodd-Frank Act’s regulation of the financial sector shows that there may not be much appetite for additional government involvement in the financial sector.

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Romney’s Private Equity Magic Trick–equity manager’s gain, taxpayers’ losses

by Linda Beale

Romney’s Private Equity Magic Trick–equity manager’s gain, taxpayers’ losses (Reich Video)

Mitt Romney claims that his business experience at Bain Capital is a superb qualification for the presidency.  He implies that this experience will carry over to his economic policies, with the suggestion that he will become a “job creator-in-chief” like all those one-percenters purportedly are in the private sector.
In reality, private equity experience is a recipe for disaster in the White House.  Think about what private equity firms do.  They take an ongoing business–usually one that is making decent profits and paying its workers decently–and they make it into one that can pay outsized “rent” profits to the private equity firm.  Usually, though not always, this means cutting costs and adding debt.

The debt is an elixir for private equity firms.  Because interest is deductible, it actually increases profits by lowering the company’s federal income taxes; yet because it isn’t required to be used by the firm to actually improve the products or services offered, it is often used instead to pay dividends to the private equity firms, paying off whatever actual investment the private equity firm made in the company.

Cutting costs is the way for private equity firms to extract even more gravy from their target company.  Cost cutting is most often directed at

  • firing workers and making fewer workers do the same work that more workers used to do (that’s called a “productivity” gain, garnered, of course, by the private equity firm and not by the everyday workers), and/or
  • outsourcing jobs to other countries so that labor can be paid less than a going wage in this country (that’s often coupled with step one, since workers are no longer needed in this country–sometimes the US workers are even required to train their cheaper foreign counterparts before they are let go, and of course those “effiencicy” gains are garnered by the private equity firm and not by the remaining workers), and/or
  • cutting wages and benefits for the remaining workers (and shipping those extra “savings” out as dividends to the equity firm investors), and/or
  • innovating better administrative systems (this can be a good deal–for example, putting money  that the company didn’t have until the new “investors” came in into digital record systems or improved communications systems, but it can also be a bad deal, if the firm uses its new technology to game the federal system on taxes, or Medicare reimbursements, or federal contracting or similar items)
    • Consider the fact that Bain and other private equity firms purchased a for-profit hospital.  One of the “improvements was to redesign the coding system for patient services to increase the reimbursements from Medicare and thus hike up the hospital system’s profits, which are garnered by the private equity firm.  Julie Creswell and Reed Adelson, A Giant Hospital Chain is Blazing a Profit Trail, New York Times (Aug. 15, 2012), at A1 (noting that Medicare reimbursements for the highest classifications surged to $949,000 in 2010 from $48,000 in 2006 at one hospital, in a story about Bain Capital and other equity firms’  profit improvements at HCA, where nurses and doctors express concerns about profit-making that is driving decisions that shortchange patients through understaffing and/or shortchange the government, as in the new coding system that caused the Medicare reimbursements to skyrocket); see also Steve Denning,HCA: The unsustainable private equity bubble in US health care, Forbes (Aug. 15, 2012).
    • As one commenter on the NY Times article noted, “To be more profitable as a healthcare facility requires … having more sick people to treat, or hav[ing] higher charges.  Both are inhumane.”  Munz, New York, NY.  And as one former HCA employee commented, “patient safety and medication safety came in a distant 2nd to conformity and [the] draconian measures to make care more efficient.”

These kinds of activities go hand in hand with the increasing consolidation into mega-business enterprises (regrettably aided by the tax code’s “tax-free reorganization” provisions, that were also made much more flexible during the Bush years in order to facilitate such consolidations).  Big businesses reap the productivity gains of their workers for the few managers and significant shareholders at the top, and either buy  or compete with local and family-owned small enterprises to put those smaller and shallower-pocketed (and less well-connected) business out of the way, thus separating more and more businesses from the communities in which they are located.  All in all, not good for America, and not the kind of skills one wants in the presidency, where we need someone who can see the relationship between the stability of small businesses, viable communities, and stable workers.

For a clear and understandable demonstration of the way private equity firms make their money and who wins (and who loses) from those methods, see Robert Reich’s video chat on the subject:

cross posted with ataxingmatter

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ID theft as basis of systemic IRS tax refund fraud problems

by Linda Beale

ID theft as basis of systemic IRS tax refund fraud problems

Early in 2012, the IRS and Justice Department announced a major crackdown on identity theft and enforcement efforts against tax refund fraud.  See IIRS, Identity Theft Crackdown Swweps Across the Nation: More than 200 Actions Taken in Past Week in 23 States, IR-2012-13 (Jan 13, 2012).   However, the IRS, which hasn’t been a perennial favorite funding target of GOPers in Congress and has had to operate with too few staff and resources to do its job well, has continued to fail to keep up with the criminals who commit tax fraud.  A recent report by the Inspector General for Tax Administration suggests a range of problems. TIGTA, There are Billions of Dollars in Undetected Tax REfund Fraud Resulting from Identity Theft (July 19, 2012) (Ref. No. 2012-42-080). See also Richard Rubin, IRS may lose $21 billion in identity fraud, study says, Bloomberg.com (Aug. 2, 2012).

The TIGTA report suggests that identity thieves may end up claiming as much as $21 billion in fraudulent tax refunds over the next five years. Examples include $3.3 million in refunds sent to a single address in MIchigan listed on more than 2000 different tax returns and more than 300 direct deposits totaling almost half a million sent in to a single bank account.  There was one bank account that received 590 deposits totally more than 909 thousand dollars.

The agency responded that it has changed its screening filters to address the issues raised and taken several steps to address tax-related identity fraud, which has been concentrated in Florida. The TIGTA report had a series of recommendations, including better use of third party information and limits on tax refunds being sent to the same bank account.

Bloomberg.com also reports a harsh assessment of the IRS’s effort to provide Tax Identification Numbers (TINs) to non-US residents.  See Richard Rubin, IRS Allowed Fraud in Rust to Issue ID Numbers, Audit Says (Aug. 8, 2012).  (For a similar audit report issued by the Deputy Inspector General for Audit on July 7, 2011, seehere.) The rush to serve resulted in allowing fraud to go undetected, with examples of almost 16,000 TINs going to a single address in Phoenix and $52.5 million in refunds for nonresident TINs going to just four addresses in Atlanta. In 2011, the IRS processed almost 3 million tax returns from nonresidents and sent almost $7 billion in tax refunds in response.  But their rush to provide numbers and process returns meant they made mistakes, apparently with some supervisors actually discouraging employees from taking the time to root out fraud, according to the IRS inspector general.  The IRS has announced that it is reinforcing its procedures to ensure the integrity of the program, including a requirement that original identification documents be submitted with applications for TINs.

See also See Siobhan Hughes, IRS Managers Discouraged Examiners from Rooting Out Fraud, Wall Street Journal (Aug. 8, 2012).

cross posted with ataxingmatter

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The fallacy of privatization: anti-government screeds and the Romney agenda

by Linda Beale

The fallacy of privatization: anti-government screeds and the Romney agenda

As a prominent tax professor points out, Mitt Romney accumulated most of his additional wealth in a business that generally doesn’t do anything to increase national wealth.

Mitt Romney accumulated his wealth as managing director of Bain Capital, a leveraged buyout fund (LBO).  LBOs are driven by tax savings.  Tax savings are transfers from other people to LOBs without any increase in GDP or national wealth.  An LOB replaces the stock of established companies with debt.  Johnson argues that because interest is deductible, the replacement can increase the value of the surviving stock by two to six times without any improvement in operating income.  The increase in debt harms the private economy because the companies become very fragile and the leverage encourages the owner to bet the company.  Calvin Johnson, The Tax Explanation for the Romney Leveraged Buyouts, Tax Notes (July 30, 2012), at 579

Romney’s activities at Bain Capital are just one example of how the private economy can generate wealth for a few people at the top without doing anything to help the overall economy, GDP, or national wealth–or ordinary workers.  With that in mind, we should then be rightly skeptical about the typical claims from the right that the private economy can always do a better job of any given task than government (the public economy).  Yet if you asked that as a question of Romney, you’d get a canned “yes.”

For Romney, efficiency and competition are gods that only the private marketplace can worship and therefore all government functions would be better handled by private rather than public forces.  That seems to be the gist of his statement in a recent interview, highlighted by Mark Thoma’s post on Outsourcing Government: What is Mitt Romney Talking About, at Economist’s View, that builds on Brad Delong’s post.  Here’s the most relevant language from Romney on the idea that private is always better than public:

MITT ROMNEY: Well, clearly you don’t like to hear [about] anyone losing a job. At the same time, government is the least productive—the federal government is the least productive of our economic sectors. The most productive is the private sector. The next most productive is the not-for-profit sector, then comes state and local governments, and finally the federal government. And so moving responsibilities from the federal government to the states or to the private sector will increase productivity.

But that’s simply wrong.  It is empirically wrong.  It is theoretically wrong.  And it is wrong-headed policy for America.

Mark Thoma also pointed out Paul Krugman’s earlier post, Outsourcer in Chief, New York Times (Dec. 11, 2006), providing a range of examples where privatization of public functions results in terribly incompetent performance.

[O]utsourcing of the government’s responsibilities — not to panels of supposed wise men, but to private companies with the right connections — has been one of the hallmarks of [George W. Bush’s] administration. And privatization through outsourcing is one reason the administration has failed on so many fronts.

Krugman lists, among others, the Coast Guard’s overrun for its privatized modernization program; the generalized outsourcing of Iraqi reconstruction to private contractors “with hardly any oversight,” with the unsurprising poor results;  and Bush’s buddy at FEMA’s outsourcing of disaster evacuations to Landstar Express, which “didn’t even know where to get buses” when Katrina hit.  As Krugman notes, outsourcing is an “antigovernment ideology” of today’s neocons, and it is one that leads to poor results in many cases.

Conservatives look at the virtues of market competition and leap to the conclusion that private ownership, in itself, is some kind of magic elixir. But there’s no reason to assume that a private company hired to perform a public service will do better than people employed directly by the government.  In fact, the private company will almost surely do a worse job if its political connections insulate it from accountability.  Id. (formatting changed)

Now, mix privatization = poor performance because of crony capitalism/lack of oversight with the tendency these days of businesses to exploit workers in order to harness all productivity gains they do achieve for the big bosses at the top.

(If you need information on the latter, look at the way workers’ wages have stagnated or plummeted while managers have skyrocketed.  Or just Google Caterpillar to see how it is negotiating with its unions for cuts for ordinary workers’ wages and benefits, when it is nonetheless already making an enormous profit.)

What you get from this naive, jaundiced view of private versus public is a formula for a disastrous economy.  Obama’s stimulus was somewhat less than it should have been, but it saved the U.S. economy from the worst we might well have expected from Bush’s disastrous reaganomics policies.  Bush’s preemptive war costs combined with deregulation and tax cuts for the rich and for corporations resulted in huge deficits and ultimately caused the financial crisis,  necessitating unprecedented borrowing that left an economy spiralling in free fall when Obama took office.

What Romney promises, then, is a return to the winner-take-all, failed economic ideas of the neocon right.

cross posted with ataxingmatter

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Romney is still hiding his tax history (Part IV)

by Linda Beale

Romney is still hiding his tax history (Part IV)

As I noted in several prior posts about the reasons that multiple years of the Romneys’ tax returns are essential to evaluating Romney as a presidential candidate, the fact that Romney has adamantly refused to release returns other than the 2010 actual return (and the 2011 estimated return) is a cause for concern.  Since the established norm is that presidential candidates release 8-12 years of returns, Romney’s insistence on not disclosing other returns appears arrogant and disrespectful of voters and suggests that there may be one or more items in those returns that he doesn’t want voters to know about.  The prior posts included some information about items that could be better assessed with more returns and related information to review, including among others: passive activity losses, questions of whether certain items are hobbies or can legitimately be classed as business expenses, foreign bank accounts, tax shelters, offshore companies, income from Bain Capital, and effective tax rate.  Much speculation has centered on the fact that Romney has accounts in various tax haven jurisdictions (Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Singapore) as well as bank accounts in jurisdictions that have been noted for banking secrecy and the accompanying tax evasion possibilities.

Since the US began cracking down on Swiss bank account holders who had avoided their reporting responsibilities, this latter issue has gained considerable visibility.  It turns out that many Americans had multi-million dollar accounts abroad that weren’t reported and on which they weren’t paying taxes.  With the breakthroughs facilitated by whistleblowers that threatened an avalanche of information about other bankers, other accounts and other accountholders, many of those lawbreakers came forward to participate in voluntary disclosure programs through which most could pay a penalty and a settled amount for taxes and avoid criminal prosecution.  So US taxpayers (and voters) want to know–did the Romneys participate in that disclosure program.

Ed Kleinbard (former chief of staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation and currently at University of Southern California) and Peter Canellos (former chair of the New York State Bar Association Tax Section and current private practitioner) have raised another important issue that would be revealed more clearly with additional tax returns–Romney’s participation in abusive tax shelter activity.  See Kleinbard & Canellos, Romney’s Role in Tax Shelter Raises Questions, CNN op-ed (Aug. 8, 2012).   The authors note that Romney’s limited release of tax returns doesn’t “dispel the legitimate concerns that arises from hints buried in his scant disclosure to wealth.”  But they note that a “relevant line of inquiry” is “what exists in the public record regarding his attitude toward tax compliance and tax avoidance.”  So they decide to see what that might be.

They find something troubling–his acceptance of abusive tax shelter activity by large multinational corporations when he headed Marriott International’s audit committee and approved the company’s involvement in a Son of Boss deal, a transaction undertaken purely for tax purposes to create artificial losses that would then be used to offset real gains from business activities and thereby substantially reduce the company’s tax bills.

A key troubling public manifestation of Romney’s apparent insensitivity to tax obligations is his role in Marriott International’s abusive tax shelter activity.
*** From 1993 to 1998, Romney was the head of the audit committee of the Marriott board.
During that period, Marriott engaged in a series of complex and high-profile maneuvers, including “Son of Boss,” a notoriously abusive prepackaged tax shelter that investment banks and accounting firms marketed to corporations such as Marriott. In this respect, Marriott was in the vanguard of a then-emerging corporate tax shelter bubble that substantially undermined the entire corporate tax system.
*** [T]he government initiated legal challenges that resulted in complete disallowance of the losses claimed by Marriott and other corporations. *** [T]he government brought successful criminal prosecutions against a number of individuals involved in Son of Boss. ***
In his key role as chairman of the Marriott board’s audit committee, Romney approved the firm’s reporting of fictional tax losses exceeding $70 million generated by its Son of Boss transaction. His endorsement of this stratagem provides insight into Romney’s professional ethics and attitude toward tax compliance obligations. (emphasis added)

So Romney as “businessman” (his claimed primary qualification for serving as President) was happy to sign off on tax scam transactions intended to benefit his corporation at the cost of ordinary taxpayers who are called upon to make up the difference in higher rates of borrowing by the federal government or higher taxes.  Can Romney hide behind the excuse of–Oops, I was just an unsophisticated board member who relied on tax advisers and couldn’t be expected to understand such complex transactions and tax issues?  No way.  As Kleinbard and Canellos note in their op-ed:

In his key position as head of the board’s audit committee, Romney was required under the securities laws and his fiduciary duties to review the transaction. In fact, it has been publicly reported thatRomney was the Marriott Board member most acquainted with the transaction and to whom the other board members turned for advice. This makes sense because aggressive tax-driven financial engineering was a large part of what Romney (and Bain) did for a living. For these reasons, it is fair to hold him accountable for Marriott’s spurious tax reporting.
*** [Romney] had an insider’s perspective on the motivation and lack of substance in the transaction, as well as the financial sophistication to understand the tax avoidance involved. Romney failed in his duties to Marriott and its shareholders and acted to undermine the fairness of the tax system. (emphasis added).

These issues are critically important to Romney’s purported qualifications to serve as president.  A man who is willing to bend/break the rules in order to make more money for himself and his elite buddies doesn’t belong in the White House.

cross posted with ataxingmatter

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Tax cuts and economic growth

Of course see Mike Kimel’s Presimetrics, familiar to most AB readers, and posts at Angry Bear can be listed here

Paul Krugman write on the meme:

Dooh Nibor

Update: And the Romney people respond with deep voodoo, invoking the supposed fabulous growth effects from his tax cuts. And who could argue? Remember how the economy tanked after Clinton raised taxes? Remember how great things were after Bush cut them? Oh, wait.
More seriously, we have lots of empirical work on the effects of tax changes at the top — and none of it supports the Romney camp’s claims. What we’ve just learned is that they were faking it all along. There is no plan to offset the tax cuts; Romney is just intending to blow up the deficit to lavish favors on the wealthy, then use it as an excuse to savage Social Security and Medicare.

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Corporations Don’t Need More Tax Breaks

by Linda Beale

Corporations Don’t Need More Tax Breaks

If you listen to the corporate lobbyists, and the right-wingers who plead their cases for them in Congress and in the media, you’d think that corporations are so heavily taxed that it is threatening their ability to continue to conduct business and be competitive in world markets. But is that really the case? This blog has often pointed out two obvious shortcomings in the corporate whine: first, the corporate statutory rate of 35% is honored in the breach–most corporations pay actual tax rates so significantly lower than 35% that the statutory rate is an illusion; and second, as far as global competitiveness is concerned, the corporate tax rate is the only significant tax that US corporations pay, whereas most other countries have both corporate income taxes and VAT taxes, often paid at each transactional stage of production.

A site called “NerdWallet” provides considerable information based on analysis of the financial statements of companies, providing greater transparency for investors and, lucky for us, for those of us interested in tax facts.   See, e.g., the NerdWallet study, Top Companies Paid 9% Tax Rate (July 24, 2012).

Because tax provision includes both domestic and foreign, current and deferred taxes, NerdWallet researched further to find how much was actually paid by these American companies to the U.S. federal government in the most recent tax year.  By dividing the current portion of federal taxes by pre-tax income, NerdWallet was able to calculate the percentage of these companies’ earnings that was paid to the U.S. government. For the ten American companies with highest earnings in the most recent fiscal year, this number averaged 9%. NerdWallet Study (emphasis added).

A press release about the study notes just how much corporate taxation has shrunk as a source of revenue in the US, as corporations pay lower rates than ordinary Americans.

A new NerdWallet study found the 10 most profitable U.S. companies paid an average of just 9% in federal taxes last year. These low rates are particularly shocking given that the official tax rate is 35%. The study also revealed that more than half of the 500 largest U.S. companies paid a lower tax rate than the average American.  NerdWallet press release (July 30 2012).

NerdWallet also has a very useful tool for seeing what each major corporation of the top 500 actually pays in taxes, available here. You can scroll through a list of corporations to select a particular one of interest, and the tool will show the actual rate of taxes paid to the U.S. government, the compensation paid to the CEO, and the average compensation for the company’s employees, as well as the multiple of the CEO compensation to the average employee compensation. For example, the tool provides the following information for several of the largest of the 500 corporations.

1. Exxon Mobil Pre-tax Earnings: $73.3 Billion Actual Taxes Paid: $1.5 Billion (2%)
2. Chevron Pre-tax Earnings: $46.6 Billion Actual Taxes Paid: $1.9 Billion (4%)
3. Apple Pre-tax Earnings: $34.2 Billion Actual Taxes Paid $3.9 Billion (11%)
4. Microsoft Pre-tax Earnings: $28.1 Billion Actual Taxes Paid: $3.1 Billion (11%)
5. JPMorgan Chase & Co Pre-tax Earnings: $26.7 Billion Actual Taxes Paid $3.7 Billion (14%)

cross posted with ataxingmatter

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