NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Nearly two-thirds of U.S. companies and 68% of foreign corporations do not pay federal income taxes, according to a congressional report released Tuesday.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) examined samples of corporate tax returns filed between 1998 and 2005. In that time period, an annual average of 1.3 million U.S. companies and 39,000 foreign companies doing business in the United States paid no income taxes - despite having a combined $2.5 trillion in revenue.
The study showed that 28% of foreign companies and 25% of U.S. corporations with more than $250 million in assets or $50 million in sales paid no federal income taxes in 2005. Those companies totaled a combined $372 billion in sales for the largest foreign companies and $1.1 trillion in revenue for the biggest U.S. companies.
The GAO report, which did not name any specific companies, said that some corporations reported zero income before deducting expenses while others said they had zero net income after deducting expenses. Either way, those companies reported no tax liability, the GAO said.
Don't tell me that taxing corporations will hurt business. If I charged a .01% tax, just one of those bigger companies would pay 250 million dollars a year. Given our debt, the value of our dollar, the crumbling infrastructure and the host of other problems our nation suffers, I think we could use that quarter of a billion dollars
Hell, if the business tax rate was a minimum of a whopping 1% (which is far less than the rate on the average citizen), that would give the federal government twenty five billion dollars. Not bad.
Now, I don't think we should eliminate tax deductions and other corporate loopholes... but there we should set a minimum possible tax, in order to prevent a situation where someone who benefits from our services that pay no taxes at all. I believe we should set a minimum tax rate for corporations, which deductions cannot reduce.
The value of t-bills have a better rate of return that these taxes, so it shouldn't be a crippling tax, nor would it impose an unfair burden.
Good luck getting the Republicans to sign off on this, but honestly, I think it's the way to go.