By Amanda Litvinov
Here’s what we know:
Everyday Americans pay more in federal income taxes than some of the nation’s most profitable corporations.
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Twenty-five Fortune 500 corporations paid nothing in federal income taxes between 2008 and 2012, while working families–some of whom are struggling to stay afloat–filed their taxes every year.
Tax handouts to the 288 Fortune 500 companies that were profitable each of those five years cost the nation $362 billion, according to a recent study by Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.
Here’s why it matters:
Corporate tax subsidies are part of the reason there is never enough money to pay for critical programs and services that benefit us all–things like universal early childhood education, grants for all hard-working students to access higher education and full funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Because state corporate income taxes are typically based on federal taxable income, state revenues suffer in turn. And that results in cuts to state education budgets that jam students into larger classes with fewer resources and supports, like classroom aides.
For decades, corporate interest groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have worked to stack the deck–in this case the tax code– in favor of the nation’s richest corporations and CEOs at the expense of the middle class. But these top-grossing companies still aren’t satisfied.
“Corporate lobbyists incessantly claim that our corporate tax rate is too high, and that it’s not ‘competitive’ with the rest of the world,” said Robert McIntyre, director of Citizens for Tax Justice and lead author of the report.
“Most of the biggest companies aren’t paying anywhere near 35 percent of their profits in taxes and far too many aren’t paying U.S. taxes at all.”
Here’s what you can do about it:
Sign our new petition to tell lawmakers to ask those who can afford it to pay their fair share. That will allow us to make more investments in neighborhood schools.