Ask yourself, what should Americans be more incensed about, day laborers who don’t pay income taxes, or untold millions or billions in lost income taxes due to corporations not paying?  I mean really, shouldn’t we focus on the “big fish” as opposed to the “little fish”!  There are already billions that illegal immigrants pay into social security, money they will never collect because the number they are using is bogus.  No, NOT a stolen number, simply one that doesn’t exist, except that it affords them the ability to work and pay taxes like the rest of us.

WASHINGTON – Unlike the rest of us, most U.S. corporations and foreign companies doing business in the United States pay no federal income tax, according to a new report from Congress.

The study by the Government Accountability Office released Tuesday said two-thirds of U.S. corporations paid no federal income taxes between 1998 and 2005, and about 68 percent of foreign companies doing business in the U.S. avoided corporate taxes over the same period.

Collectively, the companies reported trillions of dollars in sales, according to GAO’s estimate.

“It’s shameful that so many corporations make big profits and pay nothing to support our country,” said Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., who asked for the GAO study with Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.

An outside tax expert, Chris Edwards of the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington, said increasing numbers of limited liability corporations and so-called “S” corporations pay taxes under individual tax codes.

“Half of all business income in the United States now ends up going through the individual tax code,” Edwards said.

The GAO study did not investigate why corporations weren’t paying federal income taxes or corporate taxes and it did not identify any corporations by name. It said companies may escape paying such taxes due to operating losses or because of tax credits.

More than 38,000 foreign corporations had no tax liability in 2005 and 1.2 million U.S. companies paid no income tax, the GAO said. Combined, the companies had $2.5 trillion in sales. About 25 percent of the U.S. corporations not paying corporate taxes were considered large corporations, meaning they had at least $250 million in assets or $50 million in receipts.

The GAO said it analyzed data from the Internal Revenue Service, examining samples of corporate returns for the years 1998 through 2005. For 2005, for example, it reviewed 110,003 tax returns from among more than 1.2 million corporations doing business in the U.S.

Dorgan and Levin have complained about companies abusing transfer prices — amounts charged on transactions between companies in a group, such as a parent and subsidiary. In some cases, multinational companies can manipulate transfer prices to shift income from higher to lower tax jurisdictions, cutting their tax liabilities. The GAO did not suggest which companies might be doing this.

“It’s time for the big corporations to pay their fair share,” Dorgan said.

36 thoughts on ““Most Companies Avoid Income Taxes”

  1. Just Cause

    well the big fish will pay or their business closed down, you dont get away with just Not paying taxes..you get jailed or penalized but there is a paper trail……unless the SSN# you are using is stolen, then paper trail runs dry…

  2. TWINAD

    JC,

    No, the big fish do not pay because they use loopholes around paying taxes. Nice. Read the article, they do find ways to avoid paying taxes. And this is nothing new.

  3. A PW County Resident

    And we have graciously given them the tax breaks, sometimes to further social needs or other public interests. I am not ready to demonize companies for taking advantage of tax breaks that have been enacted; it should be more along the lines of whether the tax breaks should have been given.

    Also, since I have a limited liability company and an “S corporation”, I can tell you that I pay more in taxes than many people but it doesn’t show up as a corporate tax since “S Corporations” and LLCs are taxed as individuals.

    Most corporations are not “big fish” so one cannot assume that the study is talking about Exxon-Mobile or IBM but probably the really small individuals.

  4. Censored bybvbl

    It said companies may escape paying such taxes due to operating losses or because of tax credits.

    I didn’t interpret the article as saying corporations or companies were evading taxes but taking advantage of loopholes which allow them to avoid all or a portion of taxes owed. The irony I see is that the anti-immigrant folks love to say that immigrants are avoiding paying their share of taxes when that money is small compared to what taxes corporations are able to avoid paying.

  5. hello

    Wrong Censored, I think most anti ILLEGAL-immigrant people say that ILLEGAL-immigrants avoid paying their share of taxes. It amazes me how often people here somehow blur the lines between anti-ILLEGAL-immigrant and anti-immigrant (or is there no difference to you?).

  6. hello

    I don’t know of any people personally who are anti-immigrant, I’m pro-immigrant myself.

  7. “We have just been informed of a massive raid on undocumented immigrants at Dulles Airport. The word is that 50 or more individuals were detained, transferred to the Fairfax Detention Center and will be transferred to Texas for deportation within a few days. A 7:00 p.m. vigil is being held at the Office of Detention and Removal Operations Offices, 2676 Prosperity Rd, Fairfax, VA. If you are available to join the vigil your presence would be much appreciated. A press conference is anticipated at 7:30 p.m.Wed. Aug. 13, 2008.”

    Source: Unity in the Community

  8. Dulles isn’t small fish.

  9. hello

    So kgotthardt, are you suggesting people participate in a vigil for illegal-immigrants who just happen to get caught?

    Also, this is a scary story, 50 or more illegal-immigrants working in a major airport!

  10. Elena

    hello,
    Why is it scary?

  11. Censored bybvbl

    Hello, the main complaint about immigrants avoiding taxes seems to be centered at least locally on day laborers. I’d like to know how you can look at a day laborer and tell that he’s illegally here? Is there some formula? Anyway, it’s small potatoes compared to the loopholes offered corporations.

    As for legal or illegal immigrants, the group behind our Immigration resolution doesn’t make that distinction.

    Kgotthardt, the feds are doing a few raids to appease the anti-immigrant lobby before elections. They don’t seem to want to make data available to the localities about the outcome of these raids though so who knows how many people will actually be deported. And, more importantly, will any employers be effected/fined/prosecuted?

  12. Elena

    I will put a thread about the raid as soon as I get a chance. thanks for the update KG.

  13. hello

    Elena, come on, an airport… that isn’t scary to you in any way? People working in the airport who are not in this country legally, wow, every thought that some of these people may have access to baggage as it’s loaded onto a plane or have access to planes themselves? Do you not fly?

  14. Emma

    I hope that the EMPLOYERS were rounded up among the 50. It would only be fair…

  15. Censored bybvbl

    Did the news report any baggage handlers or flight crew among the people picked up during the raid? Should I be scared…. or were these people employed in the service industry/ cleaning crews?

  16. hello

    WHWN – are you seriously coming with that tired old argument of “how can you tell day laborers are illegal”? We have already been down that road a million times here.

    You said “As for legal or illegal immigrants, the group behind our Immigration resolution doesn’t make that distinction.”. What about the resolution itself? Ill answer that one for you, there is nothing in the resolution that states your race, religion or sexual preference. You have nothing to complain about when it comes to the resolution or how it’s enforced so you revert back to the typical “well, the people behind it” whining. Come up with a new argument about the resolution, please.

    I will agree with you on two of your points,
    1.) “it’s small potatoes compared to the loopholes offered corporations.”. These loopholes need to be closed.
    2.) “And, more importantly, will any employers be effected/fined/prosecuted?”. These companies should have their business license revoked.

  17. hello

    Sorry, that’s supposed to be Censored, now WHWN.

  18. Juturna

    Elena
    They can easily be compromised because of their status.

  19. Unfortunately, I don’t know anything more than the notice I received.

    And yes, a vigil……for those who have been separated from their families for whatever reason. A vigil to end this chaos. A vigil to get us all back to feeling safe….ALL of us, not just some.

    If we are that worried about illegal aliens working in our airports, we should have enforced our own laws long ago. Sudden raids are not the answer. Raids cannot keep up with the flow or existing undocumented workers, as we see in this important example.

    It will be interesting to see what happens in this case. I sincerely doubt Dulles will have its license revoked.

  20. Emma

    Censored, there was a raid there two years ago–some of the illegal immigrants picked up were doing construction and had access to runways and planes.

    http://wtop.com/?nid=25&sid=820942

  21. Elena

    Hello,
    I am not going to be scared because illegal immigrants work as cleaning crew etc. I will not morph the fear of a terrorist attack with our illegal immigrant labor force. IF that is the real concern, then start documenting people, find out if they have committed any crimes, require them to earn a legalized status, thus DEALING with the fear that so many people (i.e. FAIR and the KKK) are exploiting.

    Juturna, I would add though, that ANY person is vulnerable to being compromised for any reason, not just immigration status ( I can think of a myriad of reasons that could qualify). I cannot imagine that these people have security clearences of ANY level.

  22. hello

    kgotthardt – I’m not sure if you know this or not but Dulles isn’t a company. There are dozens of companies that work in an airport called Dulles and yes, those companies should have their business license revoked.

  23. hello

    Elena, just how do you know that illegal-immigrants work as cleaning crews at Dulles? Stereotyping maybe???

  24. hello

    Great find Emma!! Kind of blows a hole in the whole “not scared because illegal immigrants work as cleaning crew” theory.

  25. SecondAlamo

    So 50 people are caught breaking our nations laws, and the only thing you can say is lets hold a vigil? Now that sounds like a solid strategy for nation building doesn’t it. Hey if 50 people are picked up for shop lifting I guess we should form a vigil outside Wal-Mart also. How about a vigil for all those caught drunk in public, or those caught speeding. Hey we could have vigils every day of the week for people who break the law! Now if we could only figure a way to hold a vigil for those who don’t break the law…….. perhaps reward them or something, then that would make sense.

  26. Censored bybvbl

    WHWN – are you seriously coming with that tired old argument of “how can you tell day laborers are illegal”? We have already been down that road a million times here.

    Yeah, it’s a spurious argument but one the RedSpots with their x-ray vision love to make.

    What about the resolution itself? Ill answer that one for you, there is nothing in the resolution that states your race, religion or sexual preference. You have nothing to complain about when it comes to the resolution or how it’s enforced so you revert back to the typical “well, the people behind it” whining. Come up with a new argument about the resolution, please.

    No one mentioned race, religion, or sexual preference except you. Moot point. The Immigration resolution has everything to do with immigration status. It’s been tweaked to avoid lawsuits. My main argument, just a personal one, is that we shouldn’t be wasting local funds trying to solve a federal problem and I think shortly, the feds will see to it that localities mind their own business.

  27. Juturna

    “Juturna, I would add though, that ANY person is vulnerable to being compromised for any reason, not just immigration status ( I can think of a myriad of reasons that could qualify). I cannot imagine that these people have security clearences of ANY level.”

    Elena – it’s not the same. It’s why they have a high rate of victimization. It’s also quicker to find an illegal in a crowd of employees than to find the guy who can be compromised because he had an affair ten years ago or didn’t pay his taxes….. C’mon you’re just being naive.

  28. Moon-howler

    Hello, hello.

    It is real difficult to make the distinction between anti-immigration and anti-illegal immigration when the outfit that gave us the meat and potatoes of our Immigration Resolution also appears to be anti-immigration.

    I got tired of trying to figure it out, therefore I see it all as anti-immigration. When people in general conversation refuse to make a distinction and declare people ‘illegals’ without knowing their status, then I will take poetic license, without apology.

    You might want to check out the post from “Dan Stein’ of FAIR. I am not sure it isn’t a fake but ….you can read it for yourself. Corey Stewart’ds wife thread.

  29. SA, Unity in the Community is an interfaith group. Among other things, they pray. Seems appropriate to me.

  30. Hello, regarding Dulles, don’t they have to have some main license somewhere? I know the airlines and contractors are all separate, but doesn’t an airport have some centralized management?

  31. Elena

    I think we may have to agree to disagree Juturna 🙂 Drug use is one that I would add is very easy to misuse against someone, stealing something petty at work, or a whole host of other naughties that someone would not want anyone to know. Like I said on the new thread, I do agree that we should absolutely know who is in secured areas of an airport. I just don’t see the real issue with immigration being security clearence. I see the people, like FAIR, co-opting their agenda to the new found fear of terrorism, and I want to make sure we don’t under that propoganda spell.

  32. Elena is right: F.A.I.R. conformed its misinformation media machine to exploit fear of terrorism after 9/11. And, this combined with the failure in Iraq (symbolizing the failure of the entire Bush administration) cleared the way for old school nativists to get a foothold after decades of being ignored and dismissed as sanitized racists.

    Interesting that on this thread one of our participants who is particularly fond of the F.A.I.R. “propaganda spell” attempts to conjure fear of terrorism because some people got nabbed at an airport.

    What is the purpose that fear of terrorism serves in the current version of the Anti-Immigrant Lobby sell sheet? Does it shut down critical thinking? Does it create a false connection between undocumented immigrants and terrorism? No such link exists except for on fictionalized “news” shows. What is the purpose of trying to invoke fear? Does it create a favorable climate for bad policy, such as the one F.A.I.R. pushed on the people of this county? If so, is the hate and division that followed the unfounded and unecessary fear mongering in PWC and elsewhere a side effect, or an intended result?

    I ask because Elena’s answer to that insanely stupid (or immorally partisan, take your pick) tactic simply blew it out of the water.

    She called the Anti-Immigrant Lobby on its bluff … Saying, “If your fear is genuine and not intended to manipulate people, then require all undocumented people in the U.S. to register with the Feds, and make it easy and advantageous to do so.” If we bring people out of the shadows, you might not have your fear card to play. But if there is an ounce of sincerity in the fear you express and try to spread, you must agree that this is the only responsible path to take.

    That in a nutshell is how partisans approach new information, and how problem-solvers approach new information.

    Our Anti-Immigrant Lobby clone sees the Dulles raid and asks, “How can I use this to create more fear?” Elena responds with a policy initiative that is actionable. I prefer problem-solvers to fear-mongers for obvious reasons. How about ya’ll?

  33. Juturna

    Fair Elena. Our perception is based on what we see and have experienced regarding victimization.

  34. I don’t think the fear factor is so much the immigration status, WHWN (at least it isn’t in my mind). For me, it’s more about needing to know who these follks are and what their backgrounds are. We need to know this about EVERYONE working in airports and government. It isn’t about “illegals” being terrorists. It’s about knowing who your employees are.

  35. Katherine, I wrote a post explaining that you’re being grounded in reality keeps you from understanding the mind of the Freedom Fry Voter.

    I also wrote a definition of Freedom Fry Voter. But somehow my comment didn’t get posted.

  36. g.stone

    Elena:
    Sometimes I wnder if this is just one big episode of Punked. Where are the cameras.
    Your contending it is it is OK to cheat because others may be cheating.
    Unbelievable !

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