A new report by NBC News and the nonprofit investigative news outlet, The Center for Public Integrity (CPI), reveals that at least 60 companies avoided paying taxes this year as a result of the new GOP tax law signed into law by President Trump on December 22, 2017 — a total that is about twice as many as previous years.
According to the report published on Thursday, under the GOP-backed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, more top companies were able to “zero out their federal income taxes.”
According to data released Thursday by The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), companies listed used a “diverse array of legal tax breaks,” including accelerated depreciation, stock options and energy-related tax subsidies to “zero out” their federal income taxes.
Some of the companies that avoided paying a single penny in federal income taxes in 2018 include tech giant Amazon, pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, television streaming service Netflix, a number of airlines and publishing group Gannett, according to the report.
Matthew Gardner, ITEP senior fellow and author of the report, said that the lowering of the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from its previous 35 percent effectively “lowers the bar for the amount of tax avoidance it takes to get you down to zero.”
“In 2018, 60 of America’s biggest corporations zeroed out their federal income taxes on $79 billion in U.S. pretax income,” the ITEP report reads. “Instead of paying $16.4 billion in taxes at the 21 percent statutory corporate tax rate, these companies enjoyed a net corporate tax rebate of $4.3 billion.”
Opponents of the GOP’s tax overhaul warned that the changes would benefit corporations over middle-class families, as well as raise the federal deficit.
The Treasury Department reported this week that the deficit for fiscal 2019 is likely to reach $1.1 trillion by the end of the year, largely due to the tax plan.