America’s Top Corporate Tax Avoiders

Bernie Sanders, the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006 after serving 16 years in the House of Representatives. His priorities include addressing the widening income gap in America (greater than at any time since the Great Depression), global warming (the existence and/or seriousness of which is denied by many members of Congress), universal health care, more equitable access to higher education, and improved support for veterans, inter alia.

Senator Bernie Sanders

Senator Bernie Sanders

Pursuant to his attempt to promote awareness of the problems with the income gap in the U.S., he has posted on his website a list of the top ten corporate tax avoiders, with facts and figures for each company.

The list includes General Electric, Boeing, Verizon, Bank of America, Citigroup, Pfizer, FedEx, Honeywell, Merck, and Corning.

It should be noted that Bank of America and Citigroup both benefitted from the fiscal bailouts during the financial crisis.

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About Bank of America, Senator Sanders reports:

    Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS in 2010, even though it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of more than $1.3 trillion.

    In 2012, Bank of America operated more than 300 subsidiaries incorporated in offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands, which has no corporate taxes.

    In 2012, Bank of America stashed $17.2 billion in offshore tax havens to avoid paying U.S. income taxes. Bank of America would owe an estimated $4.3 billion in federal income taxes if its use of offshore tax avoidance strategies were eliminated.

    Last year, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan made $13.1 million in total compensation, but he wants to raise the eligibility age for Medicare and Social Security to 70, and make significant cuts to Social Security as a member of the Business Roundtable.

A look at data relevant to Citigroup is similarly egregious:

    Citigroup made more than $4 billion in profits in 2010, but paid no federal income taxes. Citigroup received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury during the financial crisis.

    Citigroup has established 427 subsidiaries incorporated in offshore tax havens.

    In 2012, it stashed $42.6 billion in offshore tax havens to avoid paying U.S. income taxes. Citigroup would owe an estimated $11.5 billion in federal income taxes if its use of offshore tax avoidance strategies were eliminated.

    Michael Corbat, the CEO of Citigroup, made more than $17.6 million in total compensation last year.

You can read about the rest of the corporations he lists, here.

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