FLEECING UNCLE SAM: 7 U.S. Companies Paid CEO’s More Than They Paid In U.S. Taxes

Published On November 18, 2014 | By james |


At a time when corporate profits are soaring and Republican politicians are fighting against tax reform and refusing to support a livable minimum wageReuters is reporting on a new study that reveals at least 7 of the 30 largest U.S. companies compensated their CEO’s more than the companies paid in taxes to the federal government – a ratio of 23%.

The study, called “Fleecing Uncle Sam,” was coauthored by The Institute for Policy Studies and the Center for Effective Government and reveals what they called “deep flaws in our corporate tax system.” The authors further claim that the report;

“..reveals stark indicators of the extent to which large corporations are avoiding their fair share of taxes.”

Reuters lists the 7 companies as;

Boeing Co (BA.N), Ford Motor Co (F.N), Chevron Corp(CVX.N), Citigroup Inc (C.N), Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N), JPMorgan Chase & Co(JPM.N) and General Motors Co (GM.N).

Key finings of the report reveal that “…of America’s 100 highest-paid CEOs, 29 received more in pay last year than their company paid in federal income taxes—up from 25 out of the top 100 in (their) 2010 and 2011 surveys.”

  • All seven of these firms were highly profitable, collectively reporting more than $74 billion in U.S. pre-tax profits. However, they received a combined total of $1.9 billion in refunds from the IRS.
  • The seven CEOs leading these tax-dodging corporations were paid $17.3 million on average in 2013. Boeing and Ford Motors both paid their CEOs more than $23 million last year while receiving large tax refunds.
  • These 29 CEOs made $32 million on average last year. Their corporations reported $24 billion in U.S. pre-tax profits and yet, as a group, claimed $238 million in tax refunds.
  • Combined, the 29 companies operate 237 subsidiaries in tax havens. The company with the most subsidiaries in tax havens was Abbott Laboratories, with 79. The pharmaceutical firm’s CEO paycheck was $4 million larger than its IRS bill in 2013.

Co-author Scott Klinger, Director of Revenue and Spending Policies at the Center for Effective Government, said;

“Our corporate tax system is so broken that large, profitable firms can get away without paying their fair share and instead funnel massive funds into the pockets of top executives.”

In an interview with CBS MoneyWatch, Klinger added,

“We’ve seen this narrative that corporations are being disadvantaged by the tax systems, and there are a few companies that pay pretty high rates, like retailers, but there are others that use offshore tax loopholes and other extender bills to their full advantage.”

The Institute for Policy Studies and the Center for Effective Government recommend that congress eliminates corporate subsidies, cracking down on offshore tax havens, and closing loopholes.

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