Larry Mendte: You’ll never guess what taxes U.S. corporations pay

In a prior commentary, I pointed out that GE paid no Federal income taxes in 2010. I also pointed out that the top 100 companies in the United States paid only 6% on average in Federal income taxes last year, instead of the 35% of income taxes that they were supposed to pay; that’s less than the rate that middle class families pay.

I would also like to add now that more than half of the foreign companies that do business in the United States pay no Federal income tax. And also that 38% of American companies pay no income tax.

ExxonMobil in 2009 made $34.8 billion in this country and paid $0 in income taxes. In fact, they claimed a tax benefit of $838 million. They got money back.

Now ExxonMobil does do a lot of business overseas, and guess what? They did pay $15.8 billion in foreign taxes to foreign countries in 2009.

So let’s recap, shall we? ExxonMobil, an American company, paid no American income taxes and, in fact, got $838 million back; however, they did pay $15.8 billion in foreign taxes to foreign countries.

So don’t you think that we could ask GE and ExxonMobil to pay just a little bit more in taxes?

All this talk now occurring in Washington about raising taxes means nothing. The wealthiest Americans and the biggest biggest companies in this country are suppose to pay 35%, but because of the loopholes and deductions, they pay far less than that.

If you want to get serious about balancing the budget, get rid of many of the loopholes and deductions. Congress needs to deal with tax reform. If they don’t, then all this talk about deficit reduction amounts to what GE and ExxonMobil pay in taxes…nothing.

About William Brighenti

William Brighenti is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and Certified Business Valuation Analyst. Bill began his career in public accounting in 1979. Since then he has worked at various public accounting firms throughout Connecticut. Bill received a Master of Science in Professional Accounting degree from the University of Hartford, after attending the University of Connecticut and Central Connecticut State University for his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees. He subsequently attended Purdue University for doctoral studies in Accounting and Quantitative Methods in Business. Bill has instructed graduate and undergraduate courses in Accounting, Auditing, and other subjects at the University of Hartford, Central Connecticut State University, Hartford State Technical College, and Purdue University. He also taught GMAT and CPA Exam Review Classes at the Stanley H. Kaplan Educational Center and at Person-Wolinsky, and is certified to teach trade-related subjects at Connecticut Vocational Technical Schools. His articles on tax and accounting have been published in several professional journals throughout the country as well as on several accounting websites. William was born and raised in New Britain, Connecticut, and served on the City's Board of Finance and Taxation as well as its City Plan Commission. In addition to the blog, Accounting and Taxes Simplified, Bill writes a blog, "The Barefoot Accountant", for the Accounting Web, a Sift Media publication.
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