Our friends at Citizens for Tax Justice have posted five facts you should know for Tax Day. We were particularly taken by their chart, which we pasted below. It shows that in 2014, 15 profitable Fortune 500 companies that made combined profits of over $23.5 billion paid zero federal income tax. Actually, they did better than that—they got tax refunds totaling $731 million!
So if you paid at least $1 in federal income tax, you paid more than these 15 Fortune 500 companies did in 2014—put together!
Over a five year period, on a combined basis, the 15 companies did pay a little income tax. Emphasis on the “little”—their tax rate was only 1.6 percent. That’s a far cry from the 35 percent tax rate corporations are supposed to pay on their profits— or the tax rate that middle-class families pay.
Some Members of Congress are planning to do something about it. Yesterday, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced the Stop Corporate Tax Dodging Act. The bill would stop companies from dodging U.S. taxes by sheltering their profits in offshore tax havens and end tax incentives for corporations to move jobs overseas. The bill is estimated to bring in over $590 billion in revenue over the next 10 years. That’s a much better way to mark Tax Day than a bill to give multimillionaires a $269 billion tax break, which House leaders are expected to bring to a vote tomorrow.