These 30 American Corporations Paid $0 of Income Taxes for Three years

The corporate tax rate in the U.S. is 35%, but there aren’t many companies that end up paying that amount. According to a study by the Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the average tax rate of 280 S&P 500 companies investigated was 18.5% between 2008 and 2010.

Over 70 companies paid no taxes at all.

And then there were the 30 companies that paid less than nothing — we have those for you here.

But first, here’s how they get away with it (from the report):

  • Accelerated depreciation: “The tax laws generally allow companies to write off their capital investments considerably faster than the assets actually wear out. This “accelerated depreciation” is technically a tax deferral, but so long as a company continues to invest, the tax deferral tends to be indefinite.”
  • Stock options: Most big corporations give their executives (and sometimes other employees) options to buy the company’s stock at a favorable price in the future. When those options are exercised, companies can take a tax deduction for the difference between what the employees pay for the stock and what it’s worth (while employees report this difference as taxable wages). Paying executives with options took off in the mid-1990s, in part because this kind of compensation was exempt from a law enacted in 1993 that tried to reduce income inequality by limiting corporate deductions for executive pay to $1 million per executive.
  • Industry-specific tax breaks. The federal tax code also provides tax subsidies to companies that engage in certain activities.
  • Offshore tax sheltering: Over the past decade or so, corporations and their accounting firms have become increasingly aggressive in seeking ways to shift their U.S. profits, on paper, into offshore tax havens, in order to avoid their U.S. tax obligations.

It’s also worth pointing out two things: 2008-2009 were strange, anomalous years in corporate history due to the severity of the crisis AND these companies will all counter and say they paid tons of taxes that weren’t necessarily income taxes.

Corning (NYSE:GLW)

Corning

Image: Corning

What is it?: A technology based company with 5 segments: Display Technologies, Telecommunications, Environmental Technologies, Specialty Materials and Life Sciences.’08-’10 Profit: $1,977,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-4,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -0.2%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE)

DTE Energy

What is it: A Detroit-based energy company that distributes, stores, sells, and transmits electricity, natural gas and oil.’08-’10 Profit: $2,551,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-17,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -0.7%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

Honeywell International (NYSE:HON)

Honeywell International

Image: AP

What is it:A technology and manufacturing company that deal with anything from aerospace technology to home security.’08-’10 Profit: $4,903,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-34,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -0.7%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT)

Mattel

Image: via Luxist

What is it:A toy company.’08-’10 Profit: $1,020,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-9,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -0.9%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

El Paso Corporation (NYSE:EP)

El Paso Corporation

What is it:A gas exploration and distribution company.’08-’10 Profit: $4,903,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-41,000,0000

’08-’10 Rate: -1.0%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC)

Wells Fargo

Image: [clint] via flickr

What is it:A banking a financial services company.’08-’10 Profit: $49,370,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-681,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -1.4%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

Boeing (NYSE:BA)

Boeing

Image: ap

What is it:An aerospace manufacturing and technology company’08-’10 Profit: $9,735,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-178,00,000

’08-’10 Rate: -1.8%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

Navistar International (NYSE:NAV)

Navistar International

What is it:An international holding company.’08-’10 Profit: $896,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-18,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -2.0%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE)

NextEra Energy

Image: www.nexteraenergyresources.com

What is it: An electric power company.’08-’10 Profit: $6,403,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: -$139,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -2.2%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

CMS Energy (NYSE:CMS)

CMS Energy

What it does:An energy company with three subsidiaries that deal with natural gas, alternative energy and power production.’08-’10 Profit: $1,292,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-29,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -2.2%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

Interpublic Group (NYSE:IPG)

Interpublic Group

What is it:A global advertising and marketing company.’08-’10 Profit: $571,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-15,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -2.6%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)

Verizon Communications

What is it:A telecommunications company.’08-’10 Profit: $35,518,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-951,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -2.9%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED)

Consolidated Edison

Image: Daniel Goodman / Business Insider

What is it:A New York energy provider, it delivers electric gas and steam.’08-’10 Profit: $4,263,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-127,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -3.0%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

DuPont (NYSE:DD)

DuPont

What is it:A wide ranging company providing services in sectors from agriculture to construction’08-’10 Profit: $2,124,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-72,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -3.4%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK)

Duke Energy

What it does:A power company mostly focusing on distributing electricity and natural gas in the Southeastern Midwestern United States.’08-’10 Profit: $5,475,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-216,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -3.4%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

Wisconsin Energy (NYSE:WEC)

Wisconsin Energy

Image: Wisconsin Energy

What is it:A diversified holding company focusing on power and utilities.’08-’10 Profit: $1,725,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-85,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -4.9%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

Baxter International (NYSE:BAX)

Baxter International

A blind employee tests latex gloves at a Baxter plant in Penang

Image: AP

What is it:A global healthcare company.’08-’10 Profit: $926,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-66,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -7.1%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

Ryder System (NYSE:R)

Ryder System

Image: Ryder System

What is it:A transportation and supply chain management company.’08-’10 Profit: $627,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-46,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -7.3%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

Con-way (NYSE:CNW)

Con-way

What is it:A company that provides transportation and supply chain management solutions for industrial companies.’08-’10 Profit: $286,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-26,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -9.1%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP)

American Electric Power

Image: American Electric Power

What is it:A holding company whose subsidiaries include: Appalachian Power Company (APCo), Columbus Southern Power Company (CSPCo), Indiana Michigan Power Company (I&M), Kentucky Power Company (KPCo), and more.’08-’10 Profit: $5,899,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-545,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -9.2%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

Integrys Energy Group (NYSE:TEG)

Integrys Energy Group

What is it:a diversified energy holding company with regulated natural gas and electric utility operations, non-regulated energy operations, and an approximate 34% equity ownership interest in American Transmission Company LLC (AMEX:ATC).’08-’10 Profit: $818,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-92,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -11.3%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO)

Atmos Energy

What is it:Mainly a natural gas distribution, storage and transmission company.’08-’10 Profit: $897,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-104,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -11.3%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

Tenet Healthcare (NYSE:THC)

Tenet Healthcare

What is it:A healthcare company that operates hospitals and other healthcare facilties.’08-’10 Profit: $415,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-48,00,000

’08-’10 Rate: -11.6%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

CenterPoint Energy (NYSE:CNP)

CenterPoint Energy

What is it:A public utility holding company.’08-’10 Profit: $1,931,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-284,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -14.7%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

NiSource (NYSE:NI)

NiSource

What is it:A diversified energy holding company with services in natural gas, electricity and other products and services to approximately 3.8 million customers located within a corridor that runs from the Gulf Coast through the Midwest to New England.’08-’10 Profit: $1,385,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-284,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -16.4%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

Computer Sciences (NYSE:CSC)

Computer Sciences

Image: Computer Sciences Corp

What it is:An information technology (NYSE:IT) and professional services company.’08-’10 Profit: $1,666,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-305,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -18.3%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

PG&E Corp. (NYSE:PCG)

PG&E Corp.

Image: www.flickr.com

What is it: A holding company whose primary purpose is to hold interests in energy-based businesses. PG&E Corporation conducts its business principally through Pacific Gas and Electric Company (Utility), operating in northern and central California.
’08-’10 Profit: $4,855,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-1,027,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -21.2%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

Paccar (NASDAQ:PCAR)

Paccar

What is it:A company that designs, manufactures and handles customer support of light, medium and heavy-duty trucks under the Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF nameplates. PACCAR also provides customized financial services, information technology and truck parts related to its principle business.’08-’10 Profit: $365,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-112,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -30.5%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

General Electric (NYSE:GE)

General Electric

Image: Mykl Roventine via flickr

What is it:A diversified technology and financial services corporation.’08-’10 Profit: $10,460,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-4737,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -45.3%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

 

Pepco Holdings (NYSE:POM)

Pepco Holdings

What is it:A holding company that, through regulated public utility subsidiaries, is engaged in the transmission, distribution and default supply of electricity and the distribution and supply of natural gas’08-’10 Profit: $882,000,000

’08-’10 Tax: $-508,000,000

’08-’10 Rate: -57.6%

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

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