Image: US House Committee on Natural Resources
Here on the East Coast, it's evening time, and many of you out there are scrambling to e-file your taxes before the deadline hits in a few hours. And as you wonder if there's any way you can get that refund number to look a bit bigger on TurboTax, keep this in mind: multibillion dollar corporations are paying less taxes than you are. A much-deserved hubbub has already arisen over GE's not only paying $0 in taxes, but receiving a $3.2 billion refund -- but there are of course other companies out there skirting their obligation to Uncle Sam, too. And one of them just happens to be everybody's favorite (well, maybe 2nd favorite now ...) oil company, Exxon Mobil. Yes, if Exxon pulls the same trick it did last year, it will again pay zilch in corporate taxes. Nice, right? I mean, you'd think that given these lean times, a company that just recently saw record-breaking profits -- a company that's one of the most profitable businesses in the nation -- could stand to contribute a little to the country that's helped it boom. But no. Oil companies like Exxon, which also contribute a massive amount of costly pollution to American skies, actually suck down government subsidies -- taxpayer dollars -- to the tune of around $40 billion a year.
Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) is taking the opportunity of tax day to shine a light on tax-dodging polluters like Exxon. His office released a statement that began with the following:
Today is tax day. American individuals and businesses have counted up their credits and deductions and sent in their 1040 forms in the hope of getting a refund from Uncle Sam. Many will need every last dollar of those refunds to help repair their household budgets that are eroding thanks to gasoline prices that are pushing $4 per gallon around the country.House Democrats have whipped up a humorous '1040BP' tax statement that ticks off the various amounts of money that oil companies plunder from the American public that's worth a look.
Meanwhile, the most profitable companies in the world may or may not pay a single dime in federal income taxes this year. As ExxonMobil demonstrated in 2009, it is possible for a company to earn $19 billion in profits in a single year and not pay a dime in U.S. income taxes. While American consumers struggle to stay afloat, Big Oil is set to enjoy another decade of huge taxpayer subsidies and world record profits.
Point taken -- the fact that oil companies get billions of dollars in subsidies a year isn't just absurd, it's outrageous. And the fact that they're not paying corporate taxes either makes it even more so.
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More on Oil Subsidies
Hidden Oil Subsidies: We Need to END Them
Bernie Sanders' Latest Green Move - End Tax Exemptions for Oil