FedEx, Nike and 53 Other Large Corporations Paid $0 in Federal Taxes in 2020

by on May 18, 2021 · 1 comment

in Economy

From Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy / April 2, 2021

At least 55 of the largest corporations in America paid no federal corporate income taxes in their most recent fiscal year despite enjoying substantial pretax profits in the United States. This continues a decades-long trend of corporate tax avoidance by the biggest U.S. corporations, and it appears to be the product of long-standing tax breaks preserved or expanded by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) as well as the CARES Act tax breaks enacted in the spring of 2020.

The tax-avoiding companies represent various industries and collectively enjoyed almost $40.5 billion in U.S. pretax income in 2020, according to their annual financial reports. The statutory federal tax rate for corporate profits is 21 percent. The 55 corporations would have paid a collective total of $8.5 billion for the year had they paid that rate on their 2020 income. Instead, they received $3.5 billion in tax rebates.

Their total corporate tax breaks for 2020, including $8.5 billion in tax avoidance and $3.5 billion in rebates, comes to $12 billion.

This report is based on ITEP’s analysis of annual financial reports filed by the nation’s largest publicly traded U.S.-based corporations in their most recent fiscal year. All data presented here come directly from the income tax notes of these reports. Some companies with unusual fiscal years have not yet filed such reports. Some publicly traded corporations paid nothing on profits in their most recent fiscal year but are not included in this report because they are not part of the S&P 500 or Fortune 500.

No-Tax Corporations Continue a Decades-Long Trend

For decades, the biggest and most profitable U.S. corporations have found ways to shelter their profits from federal income taxation. ITEP reports have documented such tax avoidance since the early years of the Reagan administration’s misguided tax-cutting experiment. A widely cited ITEP analysis of an eight-year period (2008 through 2015) confirmed that federal tax avoidance remained rampant before the TCJA.

Now, with most corporations reporting their third year of results under the new corporate tax laws pushed through by President Donald Trump in 2017, it is crystal clear that the TCJA failed to address loopholes that enable tax dodging—and may have made it worse.

The companies avoiding income taxes in 2020 represent very different sectors of the U.S. economy:

The delivery giant FedEx zeroed out its federal income tax on $1.2 billion of U.S. pretax income in 2020 and received a rebate of $230 million.

The shoe manufacturer Nike didn’t pay a dime of federal income tax on almost $2.9 billion of U.S. pretax income last year, instead enjoying a $109 million tax rebate.

The cable TV provider Dish Network paid no federal income taxes on $2.5 billion of U.S. income in 2020.

The software company Salesforce avoided all federal income taxes on $2.6 billion of U.S. income.

The U.S. income, current federal income tax and effective tax rates in 2020 for all 55 of the zero-tax companies are shown in the following table.

For the balance of this article, please go here.


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sealintheSelkirks May 25, 2021 at 10:58 am

A number of years ago people thought the joke about the secretary who paid more in federal income taxes than her millionaire boss was humorous. And these corporate, dare I say it, sociopaths pay their wage slaves what per hour and treat them how when they are working?

Oh yeah, delivery driving means pissing in a bottle because you aren’t allowed to stop, and Amazon warehouse work? Don’t get me started on that! Underpaid ‘Wage Slave’ is as UN-funny as the secretary/boss taxes joke….because they are both real-life for too many people.

Read recently that to earn the ‘buying power,’ a KEY term in real economics not used in Wall St. fantasia of Chicago School of Economic pipe dreams, of minimum wage that my dad earned in 1968 painting houses between school years one would have a wage of over $24 an hour.

Can anyone think of a single thing that costs what it did in 1968? No? So this IS wage slavery.

And the slavers hand bags full of money…oops, sorry…pay enormous bribes…oh dang excuse me again…give ‘campaign donations’ to politicians whose staff writes the regulations that allows corruption…oops again, my lips keep using words that aren’t allowed…set all of this in motion. Rebates to the wealthy who don’t pay any taxes anyway, huge taxes on working people, juicy government contracts that can be counted on to generate massive ‘cost overruns’ to improve the bonus’ potential for whom, on and on the list goes.

Mr. Amazon Jeff Bezos made over $7million an hour last year, every hour day or night including from the CIA spy tech contracts, WaPo newpaper, etc etc. And his drivers had to piss in bottles and let’s not get going on the warehouse workers, eh?

Maybe it is past time to get money out of politics? Oh wait…maybe it’s time that people bought NOTHING from these companies? A total BDS movement couldn’t hurt.



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