34% of America’s wealthiest corporations paid zero in income taxes, thanks to Trump
A newly released Government Accountability Office (GAO) office has revealed that 34% of large, profitable corporations paid nothing in federal income taxes in 2018, the same year that large tax cuts, passed by former President Donald Trump, went into effect.
The GAO report found that in 2017, the average tax rate for companies was 14.6 percent. In 2018, it dropped to 8.9 percent. A similar GAO report in 2016 found that 20% of corporations paid zero in federal income taxes. Comparatively, the average American tax rate is about 14.8%, according to the data site Statista.
While the recent GAO report doesn’t name the companies that paid zero in taxes, a 2022 report from the Center for American Progress found that the telecommunications company AT&T made $29.6 billion in 2021, but paid zero in federal income taxes that same year. Instead, AT&T received a $1.2 billion IRS refund, Common Dreams reported.
Similarly, in late December, the House House Ways and Means Committee released Trump’s tax returns from 2015 through 2020. In three of the six years, Trump’s taxable income was zero. This means he paid no income tax in three of the years, and just $750 in 2016.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who requested the report’s creation, responded by stating, “While House Republicans want to make huge cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid because of their ‘serious concern’ about the deficit, they voted to provide over a trillion dollars in tax breaks to large corporations and the top one percent…. We need to repeal the Trump tax breaks for the rich and demand that the largest corporations in America finally start paying their fair share of taxes.”
Democrats have suggested introducing a minimum corporate tax rate for the wealthiest individuals and corporations, but these groups and Republicans have both opposed them as hostile to “job creators.”