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Corporate Income Tax Study from 1996-1998

See which companies paid no taxes and which ones received rebates.
Stephen Taub, | US
October 20, 2000

If your company is making wads of money, you're probably seeing more than a third of it go to Uncle Sam, right?

Probably not.

That's the overall conclusion from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a tax watchdog research and education organization.

ITEP's report, released Thursday, is an exhaustive analysis of the U.S. profits and federal income taxes of 250 of the country's largest and most profitable corporations over the 1996-98 period.

Keep in mind that big companies are supposed to shell out 35% of their profits in taxes. However, the 250 companies in ITEP's survey paid only 20.1% in 1998. That was down from 22.9% in 1996, and far below the 26.5% that a similar group of large companies paid back in 1988, soon after the closing of the 1986 Tax Reform Act, which was supposed to eliminate the kinds of loopholes that led many companies to avoid paying a lot of taxes.

During the three-year period, pretax corporate profits climbed 23.5%. However, corporate income tax revenues rose just 7.7% from 1996- 1999.

A few companies did pay out 35%. But, only one industry—publishing—paid out over 30% (actually 31.6%) over the three-year period.

Here are some of the findings:

Click Here to see the entire study, including a company-by-company analysis of total profits and total taxes paid. .