Tax Law

I Thought the ‘Dodgers’ Were a Baseball Team?

There's a report that's getting a lot of attention this morning that concludes that many large U.S. corporations paid little or no corporate income taxes between 2008 and 2010 even though they raked in millions of dollars. The report, prepared by the interest group Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, refers to these companies as "tax dodgers."

According to Webster's Dictionary (definition 2), a dodger is "a tricky, dishonest person; shifty rascal." Query: If you minimize your taxes, on behalf of your shareholders, by honestly applying the tax laws as they exist are you really a shifty rascal?

The report says that "the federal tax code ostensibly requires big corporations to pay a 35 percent corporate income tax rate." No it doesn't. It applies a maximum marginal tax rate of 35 percent on "so much of a [company's] taxable income as exceeds $10,000,000" (IRC section 11). None of us pay the highest marginal rate on all the income we earn. Insinuating that corporations don't pay their fair share unless they pay 35 percent in income taxes on all of what they earn isn't, well, fair....


View TaxAnalysts' Chris Bergin's opinion in its entirety on

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