On Tax Day, New Reports on Unfair Taxes and Corporate Tax Evaders

The Philadelphia Inquirer published a story on America’s two-class tax system as part of its ongoing series on taxes.

Reporters Barlett and Steele wrote, “During the 1950s…corporations paid 49 percent of their profits in taxes. Last year, it was about half that rate, a decidedly more modest 26 percent. In 2010, corporate tax collections totaled $191 billion – down 8 percent from $207 billion as recently as 2000. Perhaps a more telling yardstick, corporate tax revenue in 2009 came to just 1 percent of gross domestic product – the lowest collection level since 1936, or three-quarters of a century ago. In 2010, it edged up to a puny 1.3 percent – the second-lowest since 1940.”

Meanwhile, Pay Up Now, a Chicago group that promotes boycotts of corporations that pay little or no federal income tax, published a chart showing Pre-Tax Income and Federal Tax for 100 U.S. Corporations from 2008-10. Some of their findings:

  • From 2008-2010 Coca-Cola made $2.1 billion and paid $8 million in taxes at a rate of 0%. In 2010 Coca-Cola made $746 million and also paid $8 million in taxes, 1% of their total income.
  • Bunge Ltd., a global agribusiness, made almost $5 billion from 2008-2010, and paid $103 million in taxes, a rate of 2%. In 2010 Bunge Ltd’s income was at $3 billion, and they paid $33 million in taxes, 1% of their total income.
  • Merck & Co. made $26.8 billion in profits from 2008-2010 and paid $1.3 billion in taxes at a rate of 5%. In 2010 the company made $1.6 billion and paid $399 million in taxes, 24% of their total income.
  • Altria Group, the tobacco company, made $15.3 billion in profits from 2008-2010 and paid $4.4 billion in taxes, a rate of 29%. In 2010, the company made $5.7 billion and paid 1.4 billion, 25% of their total income.