Top 10 Most Profitable Companies Paid ~9% Tax Rate

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – A new NerdWallet study found the 10 most profitable U.S. companies paid an average of 9% in federal taxes last year. These low rates are particularly shocking given that the official tax rate is 35%. The study also revealed more than half of the 500 largest U.S. companies paid a lower tax rate than the average American.

To give the public easy access to this information, NerdWallet built a tax rate transparency tool. The tool allows users to select any of the 500 largest corporations in America and instantly see the tax rate that company paid. The tool also provides the name and compensation of the highest paid executive.

 

#1 Exxon Mobil (XOM)

Pre-tax earnings: $73.3 Billion

Tax Provision: $31.1 Billion (42%)

Actual Taxes Paid to U.S. federal government: $1.5 Billion (2%)

Exxon paid $1.5 billion to the U.S. federal government in 2011 and deferred paying an additional $1.6 billion. It paid the majority of its taxes to foreign governments where it operates ($28.8 billion).

 

#2 Chevron (CVX)

Pre-tax earnings: $47.6 Billion

Tax Provision: $20.6 Billion (43%)

Actual Taxes Paid to U.S. federal government: $1.9 Billion (4%)

Chevron paid $1.9 billion to the U.S. federal government in 2011 and deferred paying an additional $877 million. It paid the majority of its taxes to foreign governments where it operates ($16.5 billion). Chevron also paid $596 million to state and local government.

 

#3 Apple (AAPL)

Pre-tax earnings: $34.2 Billion

Tax Provision: $8.3 Billion (24%)

Actual Taxes Paid to U.S. federal government: $3.9 Billion (11%)

Apple paid $3.9 billion to the U.S. federal government in 2011 and deferred paying an additional $3.0 billion. It paid $762 million to state and local government, $769 million to foreign governments.

 

#4 Microsoft (MSFT)

Pre-tax earnings: $28.1 Billion

Tax Provision: $4.9 Billion (18%)

Actual Taxes Paid to U.S. federal government: $3.1 Billion (11%)

Microsoft paid $3.1 billion to the U.S. federal government in 2011. It paid $209 million to state and local government, $1.6 billion to foreign governments.

#5 JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM)

Pre-tax earnings: $26.7 Billion

Tax Provision: $7.8 Billion (29%)

Actual Taxes Paid to U.S. federal government: $3.7 Billion (14%)

JPMorgan paid $3.7 billion to the U.S. federal government in 2011 and deferred paying an additional $2.1 billion. It paid $1.2 billion to state and local government, $1.2 billion to foreign governments.

 

#6 Wal-Mart (WMT)

Pre-tax earnings: $24.4 Billion

Tax Provision: $7.9 Billion (33%)

Actual Taxes Paid to U.S. federal government: $4.6 Billion (19%)

Wal-Mart paid $4.6 billion to the U.S. federal government in 2011 and deferred paying an additional $1.4 billion. It paid $743 million to state and local government, $1.4 billion to foreign governments.

 

#7 Wells Fargo & Co (WFC)

Pre-tax earnings: $23.7 Billion

Tax Provision: $7.4 Billion (31%)

Actual Taxes Paid to U.S. federal government: $3.4 Billion (14%)

Wells Fargo paid $3.4 billion to the U.S. federal government in 2011 and deferred paying an additional $3.1 billion. It paid $468 million to state and local government, $52 million to foreign governments.

 

#8 ConocoPhillips (COP)

Pre-tax earnings: $23.0 Billion

Tax Provision: $10.5 Billion (46%)

Actual Taxes Paid to U.S. federal government: $1.9 Billion (8%)

ConocoPhillips paid $1.9 billion to the U.S. federal government in 2011 and deferred paying an additional $943 million. It paid $413 million to state and local government, $7.1 billion to foreign governments.

 

#9 International Business Machines (IBM)

Pre-tax earnings: $21.0 Billion

Tax Provision: $5.1 Billion (25%)

Actual Taxes Paid to U.S. federal government: $0.268 Billion (1%)

IBM paid $268 million to the U.S. federal government in 2011 and deferred paying an additional $909 million. It paid $429 million to state and local government, $3.2 billion to foreign governments.

 

#10 General Electric (GE)

Pre-tax earnings: $20.1 Billion

Tax Provision: $5.7 Billion (29%)

Actual Taxes Paid to U.S. federal government: $1.0 Billion (5%)

GE paid $1.0 billion to the U.S. federal government in 2011 and deferred paying an additional $1.5 billion. It paid $4.7 billion to foreign governments.

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“Corporate tax rates and CEO compensation are controversial issues and finding this information can be difficult,” says Joanna Pratt, VP of Financial Markets at NerdWallet. “We think it’s important for every American to have access to this information.”

About NerdWallet Financial Markets: NerdWallet Financial Markets is designed to empower investors by providing unbiased and transparent access to financial markets information.

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