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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 05:27 PM
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    US Fortune 500's pay CEO's more than they pay taxes

    This will make your head hurt. From the New York Times.

    By DAVID KOCIENIEWSKI


    updated 8/31/2011 5:12:26 AM ET

    At least 25 top United States companies paid more to their chief executives in 2010 than they did to the federal government in taxes, according to a study released on Wednesday.

    The companies — which include household names like eBay, Boeing, General Electric (Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft Corp. and NBC Universal, which is jointly owned by Comcast Corp. and General Electric) and Verizon — averaged $1.9 billion each in profits, according to the study by the Institute for Policy Studies, a liberal-leaning research group. But a variety of shelters, loopholes and tax reduction strategies allowed the companies to average more than $400 million each in tax benefits — which can be taken as a refund or used as write-off against earnings in future years.

    The chief executives of those companies were paid an average of more than $16 million a year, the study found, a figure substantially higher than the $10.8 million average for all companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index.

    The financial data in the report was taken from the companies’ regulatory filings, which can differ from what is actually filed on a corporate tax return. Even in a year when a company claims an overall tax benefit, it may pay some cash taxes while accumulating credits that can be redeemed in future years. For instance, General Electric reported a federal tax benefit of more than $3 billion in 2010, but company officials said they still expected to pay a small amount of cash taxes.

    The authors of the study, which examined the regulatory filings of the 100 companies with the best-paid chief executives, said that their findings suggested that current United States policy was rewarding tax avoidance rather than innovation.

    “We have no evidence that C.E.O.’s are fashioning, with their executive leadership, more effective and efficient enterprises,” the study concluded. “On the other hand, ample evidence suggests that C.E.O.’s and their corporations are expending considerably more energy on avoiding taxes than perhaps ever before — at a time when the federal government desperately needs more revenue to maintain basic services for the American people.”

    The study comes at a time when business leaders have been lobbying for a cut in corporate taxes and Congress and the Obama administration are considering an overhaul of the tax code to reduce the federal budget deficit.


    'Repatriation holiday'

    Many business leaders say that the top corporate statutory rate of 35 percent, which is higher than any country except Japan, is hobbling the economy and making it difficult for domestic companies to compete with overseas rivals. A coalition led by high-technology companies and pharmaceutical manufacturers have been pushing for a “repatriation holiday,” which would let them bring as much as $1 trillion in foreign profits back to the United States at substantially reduced rates.

    But the Obama administration has said it will consider lowering the corporate rate only if Congress agrees to eliminate enough loopholes and tax subsidies to pay for any drop in revenue. Many policy experts estimate that the United States could lower its corporate rate to the high 20s if it eliminated the maze of tax breaks that favor specific industries and investors.
    Story: Stop coddling the super-rich, Warren Buffett says
    The report found, however, that many of the nation’s largest and highly profitable companies paid far less than the statutory rate.

    Verizon, which earned $11.9 billion in pretax United States profits, received a federal tax refund of $705 million. The company’s chief executive, Ivan Seidenberg, meanwhile, received $18.1 million in compensation. The online retailer eBay reported pretax profits of $848 million and received a $113 million federal refund. John Donahoe, eBay’s chief executive, collected a compensation package worth $12.4 million, the study said.

    Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg is reported to have earned $18.1 million in 2010; the company received a $705 million tax refund.

    Verizon officials disputed the report. Robert Varretoni, a company spokesman , said that the $18 million in compensation for Mr. Seidenberg was a target, which will only be paid in full if the company stock rises when his bonus is fully vested in three years. Mr. Varretoni also said it was misleading of the report to cite Verizon’s tax benefit without noting that the company also incurred billions of dollars in deferred taxes which “will be paid over time.”

    “The fact is, Verizon fully complies with all tax laws and pays its fair share of taxes,” Mr. Varretoni said.
    Story: Wealthy Europeans back Warren Buffett's call for higher taxes on the rich
    Chaz Bickers, a Boeing spokesman, said that the company’s taxes have declined in recent years because it has made huge investments in United States manufacturing.

    Mr. Bickers said that the company also paid hundreds of millions in cash taxes and incurred an additional $1 billion in deferred taxes that it will pay at some date in the future.

    “We pay our taxes and we have added 5,000 more U.S. manufacturing jobs that were incentivized by tax benefits,” he said.

    Offshore subsidiaries
    While the accounting strategies used to lower taxes varied from company to company, the report found that 18 of the 25 corporations had offshore subsidiaries, which can be used to shelter income.

    To discourage companies from gaming the tax system, the report called for tighter rules on offshore tax havens and new restrictions on write-offs for executive compensation.

    “Instead of sharing responsibility for addressing our nation’s fiscal challenges,” said Chuck Collins, a senior scholar at the institute who co-wrote the study, “corporations are rewarding C.E.O.’s for aggressive tax avoidance.”
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

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  2. #2
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    The problem with the repatriation holiday is that when it was done once before, the companies didn't spend the money the way they promised.

    Kind of like how the banks promised to loan out the TARP money and didn't do it.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

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  3. #3
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 04:57 PM
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    A major reason the tax code looks like it does is to hand out favors to people/companies that gave you money.

    When you make the tax code complex, then it's worth it for companies to burn a lot of calories to find ways around the code in order to pay the least amount possible.

    Are we surprised? Even people that scream at the top of their lungs that they should pay more taxes (I've seen Buffet, Stephen King, and even Obama say that) don't do it. They find ways to pay the least amount that they can pay. So do we as individuals.

    We must also realize that increased business taxes mean increased costs or lost jobs to offset the increased cost of the taxes. These businesses actually paid zero taxes, they just offset costs in a different way. This is the unseen cost of businesses taxes.

  4. #4
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    Painting with a broad brush here, but the tax code is written by old, rich, white men specifically for the benefit of old, rich, white men.

    Flame away if you will, but prove me wrong.

  5. #5
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 05:19 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToddE View Post
    Painting with a broad brush here, but the tax code is written by old, rich, white men specifically for the benefit of old, rich, white men.

    Flame away if you will, but prove me wrong.

    there is some truth to this.

  6. #6
    Top Of The World AtomicPunk91's Avatar
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    I'm going to have to agree that by increasing a business's taxes the people that will pay will be the guys struggling in their 9-5 jobs, not the CEOs and such at the top. The CEOs will always take their cut at the expense of the little guy. I say raise taxes on the individual not the business. If you make 18 million a year you can afford to give Uncle Sam a little more change. I didn't always agree with this philosophy, but with the national debt the way it is, you gotta do something.
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  7. #7
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    Not if you limit the deduction for executive compensation.

    I am a capitalist through and through, but when some jack-off can look himself in the mirror in the morning, pay himself $13,800,000 in compensation, and lay people off in the same breath, I have a problem with that.

    I don't know how some of those guys sleep at night.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

    Emperor Brett - "I can't believe you guys are analyzing song-by-song Van Halen III? What next, analyzing the script of Stroker Ace looking for some shred of Citizen Kane?"

    David Lee Roth did the impossible. He made Van Halen better. Deal with it!

    Preferred pronouns: he/him/his

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  8. #8
    Atomic Punk edwardv's Avatar
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