Rebecca Wilkins (shown above talking about Mitt Romney’s offshore shelters) is Senior Counsel for Federal Tax Policy for the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP). ITEP is a non-profit, non-partisan research organization that works on federal, state, and local tax policy issues. ITEP’s mission is to ensure that elected officials, the media, and the general public have access to accurate, timely, and straightforward information that allows them to understand the effects of current and proposed tax policies. ITEP’s work focuses particularly on issues of tax fairness and sustainability. ITEP works directly with lawmakers, non-governmental organizations, the public, and the media to achieve these goals.
Rebecca Wilkins joined ITEP in January 2009 where she focuses on all aspects of federal tax policy including corporate, individual, trust and estate, and international taxation. Prior to joining ITEP, she spent more than 20 years as a practicing CPA specializing in tax. Most recently Rebecca concentrated in individual and financial planning, including trusts and estates, but during her career she worked in almost every field of taxation, with a significant amount of experience in partnership, oil and gas, and employee benefit issues. During 11 years at the international accounting firm of KPMG, Rebecca spent 18 months in D.C. in the Legislative Services division of the National Tax Office, following legislative, regulatory, and judicial developments on tax issues and reporting them to the operating offices.
Rebecca has taught continuing professional education courses for many years and was an adjunct professor at the University of Denver Graduate Tax Program. Rebecca is a frequent speaker at industry and professional meetings and has presented at the College for Financial Planning annual meeting. She has written numerous articles and columns and co-authored the taxation curriculum for the Investment Management Consultants Association. She has a J.D. and a Masters in Taxation from the University of Denver.
Big No-Tax Corps Just Keep on Dodging
Last November, Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy issued a major study of the federal income taxes paid, or not paid, by 280 big, profitable Fortune 500 corporations. That report found, among other things, that 30 of the companies paid no net federal income tax from 2008 through 2010. New information for 2011 shows that almost all these 30 companies have maintained their tax dodging ways.
In fact, all but four of the 30 companies remained in the no-federal-income-tax category over the 2008-11 period.
Over the four years:
26 of the 30 companies continued to enjoy negative federal income tax rates. That means they still made more money after tax than before tax over the four years!
Of the remaining four companies, three paid fouryear effective tax rates of less than 4 percent (specifically, 0.2%, 2.0% and 3.8%). One company paid a 2008-11 tax rate of 10.9 percent.
In total, 2008-11 federal income taxes for the 30 companies remained negative, despite $205 billion in pretax U.S. profits. Overall, they enjoyed an average effective federal income tax rate of –3.1 percent over the four years.
NEW REPORT: 265 Major, Profitable U.S. Corporations’ Tax Avoidance Costs States $42 Billion Over Three Years
“Our report shows these 265 corporations raked in a combined $1.33 trillion in profits in the last three years, and far too many have managed to shelter half or more of their profits from state taxes,” said Matthew Gardner, Executive Director at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy and the report’s co-author. “They’re so busy avoiding taxes, it’s no wonder they’re not creating any new jobs.”
68 of the 265 Fortune 500 companies profiled paid no state corporate income tax in at least one of the last three years and 20 of them averaged a tax rate of zero or less during the 2008-2010 period.
Among the 20 corporations paying zero or less in state corporate income taxes over the three year period are: Utility provider Pepco Holdings (DC); pharmaceutical giant Baxter International (IL); chemical maker DuPont (DE); fast food behemoth Yum Brands (KY); high tech manufacturer Intel (CA).
“Corporate Tax Dodging in the Fifty States, 2008-2010” follows up on “Corporate Taxpayers and Corporate Tax Dodgers, 2008-2010” which was published in November by Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP). The two groups released their first major study on the federal income taxes that large, profitable American corporations pay on their U.S. pretax profits in 1984.
NEW REPORT: 280 Most Profitable U.S. Corporations Shelter Half Their Profits from Taxes.
“These 280 corporations received a total of nearly $224 billion in tax subsidies,” said Robert McIntyre, Director at Citizens for Tax Justice and the report’s lead author. “This is wasted money that could have gone to protect Medicare, create jobs and cut the deficit.”
- 30 Companies average less than zero tax bill in the last three Years, 78 had at least one no-tax year.
- Financial services received the largest share of all federal tax subsidies over the last three years. More than half the tax subsidies for companies in the study went to four industries: financial services, utilities, telecommunications, and oil, gas & pipelines.
- U.S. corporations with significant foreign profits paid tax rates to foreign countries that were almost a third higher than they paid to the IRS on their domestic profits.