List of some of the 10 worst corporate income tax avoiders.
1) Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009. Exxon not only paid no federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings. (Source: Exxon Mobil’s 2009 shareholder report filed with the SEC here.)
2) Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year, although it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion. (Source: Forbes.com here, ProPublica here and Treasuryhere.)
3) Over the past five years, while General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United States, it received a $4.1 billion refund from the IRS. (Source: Citizens for Tax Justice hereand The New York Times here. Note: despite rumors to the contrary, the Times has stood by its story.)
4) Chevron received a $19 million refund from the IRS last year after it made $10 billion in profits in 2009. (Source: See 2009 Chevron annual report here. Note 15 on page FS-46 of this report shows a U.S. federal income tax liability of $128 million, but that it was able to defer $147 million for a U.S. federal income tax liability of $-19 million)
5) Boeing, which received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers, got a $124 million refund from the IRS last year. . (Source: Paul Buchheit, professor, DePaul University, here and Citizens for Tax Justice here.)
6) Valero Energy, the 25th largest company in America with $68 billion in sales last year received a $157 million tax refund check from the IRS and, over the past three years, it received a $134 million tax break from the oil and gas manufacturing tax deduction. (Source: the company’s 2009 annual report, pg. 112, here.)
7) Goldman Sachs in 2008 only paid 1.1 percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department. (Source: Bloomberg News here, ProPublica here, Treasury Department here.)
8) Citigroup last year made more than $4 billion in profits but paid no federal income taxes. It received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury. (Source: Paul Buchheit, professor, DePaul University, here, ProPublica here, Treasury Department here.)
9) ConocoPhillips, the fifth largest oil company in the United States, made $16 billion in profits from 2006 through 2009, but received $451 million in tax breaks through the oil and gas manufacturing deduction. (Sources: Profits can be found here. The deduction can be found on the company’s 2010 SEC 10-K report to shareholders on 2009 finances, pg. 127,here)
10) Over the past five years, Carnival Cruise Lines made more than $11 billion in profits, but its federal income tax rate during those years was just 1.1 percent. (Source: The New York Times here)
Not to mention, if they were truly so concerned, from the bottom of their magnanimous hearts, about health, safety and welfare, we wouldn’t have slums or homeless people. The irony is that these homeless people are coming to Occupy sites to seek food, medical attention and companionship because they can’t get it elsewhere in your CITY. If they are dirty or unhealthy or dangerous, that is not a reflection of the Movement or what it stands for, but a reflection of the illness in our current government and economic systems.
And, as always, sending in armed, battle-ready police forces to tear down a microcosm of your city community full of your own citizens, is always the best way to protect the health and safety of said citizens.
The murder of the Gulf of Mexico by BP shouldn’t surprise us. It is precisely what industrial capitalism does. Years ago I wrote of the catastrophe in Bhopal: when you intentionally fabricate bulk industrial chemicals, many of which are toxic, it should not qualify as an accident when some of these chemicals kill people. Likewise, the spill in the Gulf should not be considered an accident. There are 10,000 oil spills per year. Oil has devastated the Amazon. It has devastated the Niger Delta. It has devastated the Gulf of Mexico.
Likewise, after the catastrophe at Bhopal, it was discovered that there was no antidote for the poison. One advocate for the victims noted sensibly: “No one should be allowed to make poisons for which there is no antidote.” The same is true for the other destructive activities of this culture.
And corporations will not voluntarily rein themselves in. Limited liability corporations exist in order to limit liability. Their function is to privatize profits and to externalize costs.
And governments will not voluntarily rein in corporations. A primary function of governments is to provide subsidies and to provide muscle for that privatization of profits and that externalization of costs.
Corporations and governments are murdering the planet. They will not stop on their own. It is incumbent upon us to stop them, to force accountability onto those sociopaths who are killing the planet. And failure is not an option. We must stop them.