And so here we are. Tax Day 2019 has come and gone. 

Unless you're like me, and you're on extension. (What can I say, I've been busy.)

But it's a time to step back, take stock--and figure out for sure whether you actually got a tax cut under the 2017 tax law. And frankly, how everybody else made out.

Among mere mortals like you and me, they say, things worked out like this:

About 65 percent of Americans paid less for 2018 than in 2017 (average $1,050 for middle class families).

About 9 percent paid more.

The remaining 26 percent paid the same as the year before.

But enough about us. We're chump change. Let's talk instead about how some of the biggest companies made out under the new tax law.

Companies like Amazon, Netflix, Delta Air Lines, and Salesforce, to begin with. How much more or less did they pay?

Actually, it's a trick question. Because according to a study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, those four companies are among at least 60 household names that didn't pay a penny. It turns out the tax cut was a lot more generous for some corporations than for ordinary people.

"The report finds that in 2018, 60 of America's biggest corporations zeroed out their federal income taxes on $79 billion in U.S. pretax income," the group's press release said. "Instead of paying $16.4 billion in taxes at the 21 percent statutory corporate tax rate, these companies enjoyed a net corporate tax rebate of $4.3 billion.

Among the big winners according to ITEP: 

  • Amazon, which reported almost $11 billion of U.S. income and claimed a federal income tax rebate of $129 million.
  • Netflix paid no federal income tax on $856 million of U.S. income.
  • Delta Air Lines brought in just over $5 billion. Net refund: $187 million.

Here's the list of the top 30 U.S. companies that ITEP says managed to pay zero income taxes, ranked in order of how much money the companies made to begin with (in parenthesis):

  • Amazon.com ($10.84 billion)
  • Delta Air Lines ($5.07 billion)
  • Chevron ($4.55 billion)
  • General Motors ($4.32 billion)
  • EOG Resources ($4.07 billion)
  • Occidental Petroleum ($3.38 billion)
  • Duke Energy ($3.03 billion)
  • Dominion Resources ($3.02 billion)
  • Honeywell International ($2.83 billion)
  • Deere ($2.15 billion)
  • American Electric Power ($1.94 billion)
  • Kinder Morgan ($1.78 billion)
  • Public Service Enterprise Group ($1.77 billion)
  • Principal Financial ($1.64 billion)
  • FirstEnergy ($1.50 billion)
  • Prudential Financial ($1.44 billion)
  • Xcel Energy ($1.43 billion)
  • PulteGroup ($1.34 billion)
  • Molson Coors ($1.33 billion)
  • Devon Energy ($1.30 billion)
  • Pioneer Natural Resources ($1.25 billion)
  • DTE Energy ($1.22 billion)
  • Wisconsin Energy ($1.14 billion)
  • PPL ($1.11 billion)
  • Halliburton ($1.08 billion)
  • Ameren ($1.04 billion)
  • Netflix ($856 million billion)
  • Salesforce.com ($800 million)
  • CMS Energy ($774 billion)
  • Rockwell Collins ($719 billion)

You can find the rest of the list  here.

Published on: Apr 16, 2019
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