Yesterday, along with hundreds of millions of Americans, you likely settled up your taxes formally with the IRS. Incredibly, most of the biggest and most profitable finance and energy companies in the country are paying far less than their fair share. Last, month, Alex wrote about the most startling—and highest profile—incident involving GE, the country's largest corporation.
The Rainforest Action Network reviewed the nation's top four banks, oil and coal companies, and "found that all of them are gaming the system." RAN put out a great infographic that shows just how egregiously the companies are ducking their tax responsibilities. The companies studied: Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, Chevron, BP, Shell, Exxon, Massey Energy, Alpha Natural Resources, Peabody Energy and Arch Coal. The graphic is pretty cluttered (click through to see the original, larger version), but it's worth examining to see how some of the biggest corporations in the country avoid paying taxes.
The big takeaway point is that corporations are supposed to pay a 35 percent corporate tax rate. The effective tax rate of the top four banks, oil companies, and coal companies are 8.51 percent, 2.04 percent, and 10.45 percent, respectively.