Wanna pay no taxes? Be a corporation!

Most workers have little choice when it comes to paying income taxes. The money is deducted from our paychecks before we even get a chance to listen to the rustle of the bills and the clink of the coins. 

Not so with big corporations. They can afford tax “advisors” who specialize in finding loopholes to reduce what they pay. 

Reduce by how much, you ask? How about to — zero?

That’s what a new study finds — that “at least 55 of America’s largest [corporations] paid no taxes last year on billions of dollars in profits.” (New York Times Business Section, April 3)

The article explains: “The sweeping tax bill passed in 2017 by a Republican Congress and signed into law by President Donald J. Trump reduced the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%. But dozens of Fortune 500 companies were able to further shrink their tax bill — sometimes to zero — because of a range of legal deductions and exemptions.”

And the Times states, “Twenty-six of the companies listed, including FedEx, Duke Energy and Nike, were able to avoid paying any federal income tax for the last three years even though they reported a combined income of $77 billion. Many also received millions of dollars in tax rebates.” To add insult to injury, Amazon avoided paying $2.3 billion in federal taxes in 2020, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. (Feb. 3)

It’s a bit suspicious that this shocking information turned up in the financial pages of the Times, not the general news section. Most people would get pretty damn mad at these corporations if they saw the article. But, if the readers instead are the financial officers of big corporations, they’d see it as a juicy profit opportunity.

What if the article had instead been on the front page of the newspaper, with a blaring headline about the richest corporations paying no taxes? That would be seen as a real challenge to the class of multimillionaires and billionaires who run this country. But the editors of the Times don’t want to do that.

So the next time your heart sinks when you see how much is taken out of your pay, think of how the workers at FedEx, Duke Energy and Nike would feel if they found out that their bosses were paying no taxes on their own hefty profits, while faithfully deducting income taxes from their employees’ paychecks every week.

What’s that Tracy Chapman song — “Talkin’ ’bout a revolution”?

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