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Thread: 20 U.S. companies that paid 0% in taxes

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    Re: 20 U.S. companies that paid 0% in taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    And as the OP demonstrates, one can have net income and still pay zero income tax
    Yes, I guess we should say that we are talking about net taxable income, if that is an accounting term, otherwise it doesn't add up that they have net income but don't pay income tax.
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    Re: 20 U.S. companies that paid 0% in taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony60 View Post
    Yes, I guess we should say that we are talking about net taxable income, if that is an accounting term, otherwise it doesn't add up that they have net income but don't pay income tax.
    It's a tax term, and companies can and do report $billions in GAAP income and PAY no U.S. income taxes. They might record an income tax expense, but be able to defer that expense for years, perhaps indefinitely. Many companies doing business internationally will have to record an income tax expense based on worldwide profits, but can avoid PAYING U.S. income taxes by leaving the money offshore, and only paying taxes when it's repatriated into the U.S. It's why it's such a big deal in recent months for a repatriation holiday, so U.S. companies can bring cash sitting in the Caymans etc. back to the U.S. tax free or at a substantially reduced rate.

    I used to be for higher corporate income taxes, but I've become convinced that the biggest companies will always be able to avoid U.S. income taxes, and I'd rather we reduce the rate to very low, become a tax haven for international companies, and then tax distributions of profits at normal rates. So I'd trade corporate income taxes of 15% or so, for ending the preference for dividends, or most capital gains on shares of stock, maybe eliminate the payroll tax cap, etc.

    We've had several major INDIVIDUAL income tax cuts in recent decades, but little activity on the corporate side. I think that's because the big companies don't care about U.S. tax rates because they can hire hundreds of tax lawyers and avoid paying the statutory rate. So it's a tax that falls disproportionately on medium sized U.S. companies that do business only in the U.S. So we punish domestic businesses versus those who have offshored large parts of their operations. It's messed up IMO, and while I don't think it's a good thing that major companies don't pay income tax in the U.S. - they enjoy HUGE benefits and should contribute the cost of those benefits - realistically it's not going to happen. So we tax the owners instead... Same way we do with S Corps and LLCs etc.

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    Re: 20 U.S. companies that paid 0% in taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    It's a tax term, and companies can and do report $billions in GAAP income and PAY no U.S. income taxes. They might record an income tax expense, but be able to defer that expense for years, perhaps indefinitely. Many companies doing business internationally will have to record an income tax expense based on worldwide profits, but can avoid PAYING U.S. income taxes by leaving the money offshore, and only paying taxes when it's repatriated into the U.S. It's why it's such a big deal in recent months for a repatriation holiday, so U.S. companies can bring cash sitting in the Caymans etc. back to the U.S. tax free or at a substantially reduced rate.
    Yes, we tax them for income at home and abroad, so they want to keep it off shore. Many other countries don't do that, because they are already taxed on that money by the country where they are operating.

    But it is our tax laws that encourage companies to seek HQ's overseas, to keep money overseas, and discourage other companies from coming here. The tone of the posts are "see what these evil corporations are doing", when it is the government that makes the laws and tells them do this, and we'll tax you, but do that, and we won't. They are only playing by the rules.
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    Re: 20 U.S. companies that paid 0% in taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony60 View Post
    Well, you are taxing with the corporate income tax, then, when it is distributed to the shareholders as dividends, it is taxed again as income.
    Corporate taxes are on profits not income. That is a totally different animal from individual income tax. You pay sales tax with income that was already taxed too. So that is also double taxation by your logic.

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    Re: 20 U.S. companies that paid 0% in taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    A VAT is no more complex than the RST in practice.

    Besides, simplicity isn't THE goal. Would you rather have an arguably slightly simpler RST under which businesses pay 40% of the RST and cause U.S. produced goods to be less competitive internationally, or have slightly more complex (in theory) VAT that allows U.S. producers to export products free of imbedded consumption taxes? I'd rather have one that works better and is better for U.S. producers.

    And if you want to simplify the code, then you need to get rid of special tax exemptions like the exclusion for employer provided health insurance, mortgage interest deductions, deductions for property taxes and state income taxes paid, deductions for charity, etc. It would raise your taxes if you take those deductions but it would be simpler!
    I don't want business to pay any taxes. It is harmful to our global competitiveness. I guess you like all the made in China products we have today. Not I.

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    Re: 20 U.S. companies that paid 0% in taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by iguanaman View Post
    Corporate taxes are on profits not income. That is a totally different animal from individual income tax. You pay sales tax with income that was already taxed too. So that is also double taxation by your logic.
    Yes, they are both double taxed then. I agree with that. Although one is a sales tax, the income tax hits you before the money is even in your hands, you have no choice. I don't see much of a distinction between profit and taxable income here. Not sure what, if any, point there is in that. No corporation pays tax on just their income, we are really referring to taxable income.
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    Re: 20 U.S. companies that paid 0% in taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord of Planar View Post
    I don't want business to pay any taxes. It is harmful to our global competitiveness.
    As demonstrated by all those tax-free nations whose products dominate the world marketplace.

    Remind me who those nations are again?

    I guess you like all the made in China products we have today. Not I.
    I guess you're a big fan of the Chinese economy. Not I

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony60 View Post
    Y I don't see much of a distinction between profit and taxable income here.
    This entire thread has been devoted to discussing the distinction, and you still don't see it?

    Tsk, tsk!
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    Re: 20 U.S. companies that paid 0% in taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony60 View Post
    Yes, we tax them for income at home and abroad, so they want to keep it off shore. Many other countries don't do that, because they are already taxed on that money by the country where they are operating.

    But it is our tax laws that encourage companies to seek HQ's overseas, to keep money overseas, and discourage other companies from coming here. The tone of the posts are "see what these evil corporations are doing", when it is the government that makes the laws and tells them do this, and we'll tax you, but do that, and we won't. They are only playing by the rules.
    Well, we can't compete with tax rates of ZERO like many of these tax havens offer. It's absurd - we allow for a "HQ" to be a mail drop in a tiny building with 1,000 other "corporate headquarters." I don't mind competing with countries that offer lower rates for actual businesses, but you can't defend the BS system we have now, where the HQ can be anywhere on the planet that one can send some mail. IMO, if someone wants to put a HQ in Bermuda, move the CEO and all the staff, support, etc. to Bermuda. Otherwise, your HQ is where the OPERATIONS for the HQ are located not where you've moved the piece of paper.

    And they ARE only playing by the "rules" but the rules are corrupt, and if corporations pay $1 billion in lobbying etc. to get those rules, then we need to address the problem there, and not pretend that legislators getting paid (bribed) to pass favorable rules won't pass favorable rules. It's why I've also come to believe step one in any kind of reform is to reform campaign financing.

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    Re: 20 U.S. companies that paid 0% in taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord of Planar View Post
    I don't want business to pay any taxes. It is harmful to our global competitiveness. I guess you like all the made in China products we have today. Not I.
    It's really bizarre that you post that after I express support for a VAT. Under a VAT, businesses will NOT pay any VAT taxes, only consumers are taxed, and I explained why businesses will pay less under a VAT than under your preferred RST. Not sure what you want. VAT helps our businesses compete without embedded taxes, like I said!

    A VAT is also regressive, but it does away with the problem of the 47% who 'pay no income taxes' because everyone who buys anything will pay Federal taxes with a Federal VAT. I guess you'll have to explain better how you'd finance government because I can't tell who you think should pay taxes.

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    Re: 20 U.S. companies that paid 0% in taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    Well, we can't compete with tax rates of ZERO like many of these tax havens offer. It's absurd - we allow for a "HQ" to be a mail drop in a tiny building with 1,000 other "corporate headquarters." I don't mind competing with countries that offer lower rates for actual businesses, but you can't defend the BS system we have now, where the HQ can be anywhere on the planet that one can send some mail. IMO, if someone wants to put a HQ in Bermuda, move the CEO and all the staff, support, etc. to Bermuda. Otherwise, your HQ is where the OPERATIONS for the HQ are located not where you've moved the piece of paper.
    Government really has no authority to do something like that. It would be great to have a nice, simple system, but that seems impossible whenever government is involved.

    And they ARE only playing by the "rules" but the rules are corrupt, and if corporations pay $1 billion in lobbying etc. to get those rules, then we need to address the problem there, and not pretend that legislators getting paid (bribed) to pass favorable rules won't pass favorable rules. It's why I've also come to believe step one in any kind of reform is to reform campaign financing.
    Here's the problem as I see it. Why should corps waste so much on lobbying at the feet of government? We, the consumer, end up paying for all that. These career politicians only care about keeping their seats and amassing as much power as possible. They like this system, they want the private sector to throw money at them and come begging for favors. They have no incentive to change that, since they gaet re-elected 85% of the time. We need term limits so that they don't have that incentive anymore. It's just sickening how much money is sucked up by our government. Completely out of control. Way off from what was intended.
    "We have met the enemy and they are ours..." -- Oliver Hazard Perry
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