Impossible to Verify Claim

How are we supposed to check a claim about “one out of four large corporations” when there is no definition of what is a large corporation? The meme might refer to this New York Times article, but if so it misrepresent it (“…the study concluded that a quarter of the 280 corporations owed less than 10 percent of profits in federal income taxes and 30 companies had no federal tax liability for the entire three-year period.”).

Also, what is the period of the record breaking profits, and what is the period of 25% of the large corporations not having to pay any tax? Were those corporations by any chance not those with record breaking profits? Or maybe they had carryover losses, which a lot of banks have these days because of bad mortgages?

BTW, if corporations don’t have a separate existence (“corporate personhood”), wouldn’t that mean that they shouldn’t be charged taxes, but funnel the income and associated costs (such as taxes) to the shareholders they represent?

h/t Courtney Ballard


2 thoughts on “Impossible to Verify Claim

  1. *meh* No business pays business/corporation income taxes. Those are expenses in any rational model, and must be absorbed by the company, thus cutting profits (impacting returns to investors, including pension funds, etc.), or passed on to end users (some estimates I’ve seen run as high as 21% of end user costs are “hidden taxes”) or charged to the economy in lower reinvestment and lower wages/lower employment. The money for business/corporation taxes has to come from somewhere, and it does: from common citizens’ pockets.


    • Of course corporations aren’t people, so the cost of the taxes somehow gets divided between their constituents (owners, employees, other suppliers, and customers). But that is a separate matter from corporate income taxes (vs. taxes on other business forms).


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