While I've mentioned that us poor working stiffs pay taxes on 99% of our income
, that's because we have to
. Our employers are required by law to track and report the money we make, so we are not in a position where we even have the option to hide this income.
Corporations, on the hand, are another beast altogether. Not only U.S. ones, either:
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.
As a quick mathematical exercise, let's see how much money that might represent, tax wise, with a 15% corporate tax rate: $375 billion. Coincidentally, that is about the amount of the annual tax gap ($345 billion) that I mentioned in my previous post. However, this is only a coincidence
because they are unrelated. The $345 billion tax gap is, in fact, the amount that rich individuals
underpay, not what corporations don't pay, roughly speaking.
$345 billion + $375 billion = $720 billion, or roughly the size of the economic bailout plan. This is money that the government is loosing every year
, which brings to mind the old saying:
"A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money"