The Largest 100 Companies Pay This Much in Taxes

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The United States has in recent years been grappling with both its political and economic identities. Tax reform, naturally, has proved to be one of most hotly contested policy battlegrounds, with a confluence of contradictory agendas -- partisan, industrial, and theoretical in nature -- muddying the waters. In the process, the role of the large multinational corporation as a tax-paying entity has come under intense scrutiny.

With memories of corporate greed and Great Recession bailouts still fresh in the minds of taxpayers, the myriad "revelations" about corporate accounting practices that have emerged from inspection of quarterly financials have fueled indignation as well as confusion among us little guys who feel as if we might be getting the short end of the stick.

This all, of course, raises a number of very important questions -- from how much large corporations really pay in taxes and how easy those numbers are to distort, all the way to what the ultimate taxpayer hierarchy should be between consumers and corporations.

WalletHub attempted to shed some light on those issues by analyzing annual reports for the S&P 100 -- the largest and most established companies on the stock market.  We compiled 2012 data on company profits, withholding practices, and tax payments on the state, federal, and international levels to determine effective and deferred tax rates for each business.

Note: For visual purposes, we excluded the companies with the five highest and lowest effective tax rates.

  • S&P 100 companies pay roughly 30% lower rates on international taxes than on U.S. taxes.
  • Tech companies -- including Apple, eBay, and Google -- paid up to 80% lower rates abroad.
  • Six S&P 100 companies are actually paying a negative overall tax rate and are therefore due a tax refund: Abbott Laboratories, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, AIG, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Verizon.
  • Among the remaining companies that owe taxes, Citigroup, Visa, AbbVie, and MetLife pay the lowest rates.
  • The average S&P 100 company pays a 14% higher tax rate than the top 3% of consumers.
Company NameStock Symbol2012 Overall Tax Rate2012 State Tax Rate2012 Federal Tax Rate2012 International Tax Rate
CitigroupC0.1%neg. incomeneg. income32.4%
MetLifeMET8.9%neg. incomeneg. income13.5%
Texas InstrumentsTXN9.1%(0.6%)(13.5%)13.7%
Mondelez InternationalMDLZ9.5%neg. incomeneg. income19.1%
General ElectricGE13.6%N/A3.3%23.1%
PfizerPFE19.8%neg. incomeneg. income16.4%
Cisco Systems
The Bank of New York MellonBK23.6%5.2%20.4%20.5%
Johnson & JohnsonJNJ23.7%N/AN/A14.9%
Eli Lilly
Twenty-First Century FoxFOXA24.5%N/AN/AN/A
United TechnologiesUTX24.8%4.6%28.4%19.8%
Capital OneCOF25.8%1.5%24.7%20.9%
JPMorgan ChaseJPM26.4%2.9%21.9%36.2%
Procter & GamblePG27.1%N/A26.3%N/A
Freeport McMoRan Copper & GoldFCX27.5%1.6%21.1%34.6%
Gilead SciencesGILD28.8%1.3%35.9%3%
Ford MotorF28.8%(2.5%)31.3%29.2%
US BancorpUSB28.9%4.4%24.6%N/A
National Oilwell VarcoNOV29.2%2.6%30.3%25.1%
Philip Morris InternationalPM29.5%N/AN/A28.2%
American ExpressAXP30.5%3.5%20.7%neg. income
Wal-Mart StoresWMT31%3.2%29.2%26.9%
Berkshire HathawayBRK-B31.1%N/AN/AN/A
Anadarko PetroleumAPC31.4%106.1%11.4%28.1%
Wells FargoWFC32%3.8%29.4%6.2%
American Electric PowerAEP32.4%(2.3%)34.6%N/A
Lockheed MartinLMT32.6%N/AN/AN/A
Goldman Sachs GroupGS33.3%9.6%34.1%15.7%
Walt DisneyDIS33.3%2.8%30.1%36.5%
Dow ChemicalDOW33.9%neg. incomeneg. income30.8%
Time WarnerTWX34.3%2.3%23.8%12066.7%
TargetTGT34.9%3%32.4%neg. income
Emerson ElectricEMR35%3.3%35.6%30.1%
Altria GroupMO35.4%5.2%30.2%31.3%
UnitedHealth GroupUNH35.9%N/AN/AN/A
Costco WholesaleCOST36.1%5.6%33.3%30.8%
Norfolk SouthernNSC36.6%3.7%32.9%N/A
Home DepotHD37.2%4.5%32.6%38.4%
Union PacificUNP37.5%4.3%33.2%N/A
LOW37.6%4.6%31.9%neg. income
CVS CaremarkCVS38.6%6.2%32.4%N/A
Occidental PetroleumOXY40.2%2.3%30.5%43%
Amazon.comAMZN78.7%N/AN/Aneg. income
FacebookFB89.3%3.7%36.4%neg. income
General DynamicsGD161.4%(1.9%)98%neg. income
Abbott LaboratoriesABT(89.8%)neg. incomeneg. income17.5%
Morgan StanleyMS(45.6%)neg. incomeneg. income34.8%
Bank of AmericaBAC(36.3%)28.8%(159.3%)109.7%
AIGAIG(27.9%)neg. incomeneg. income5.4%
Bristol-Myers SquibbBMY(6.9%)neg. incomeneg. income14.4%
Verizon CommunicationsVZ(6.7%)(3.1%)(3.6%)(6%)
Devon EnergyDVNneg. incomeneg. incomeneg. incomeneg. income
General MotorsGMneg. incomeneg. incomeneg. incomeneg. income
Hewlett-PackardHPQneg. incomeneg. incomeneg. incomeneg. income
Simon Property GroupSPGTax-free REITTax-free REITTax-free REITTax-free REIT

Sources: The data used to compile this report comes from the Internal Revenue Service, Quantria Strategies, Yahoo! Finance, and corporate annual reports.

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The article The Largest 100 Companies Pay This Much in Taxes originally appeared on

The Motley Fool recommends 3M, Accenture,, American Express, AIG, Apple, Bank of America, Baxter International, Berkshire Hathaway, Chevron, Cisco Systems, Coca-Cola, Costco Wholesale, CVS Caremark, eBay, Emerson Electric, Exelon, Facebook, FedEx, Ford, General Motors, Gilead Sciences, Goldman Sachs, Google (A and C shares), Halliburton, Home Depot, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, MasterCard, McDonald's, National Oilwell Varco, Nike, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Southern, Starbucks, UPS, UnitedHealth Group, Visa, Walt Disney, and Wells Fargo; owns shares of, AIG, Apple, Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway, Capital One Financial, Citigroup, Costco Wholesale, Devon Energy, eBay, EMC, Facebook, Ford, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, General Dynamics, General Electric, Gilead Sciences, Google (A and C shares), Intel, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, Lockheed Martin, MasterCard, Medtronic, Microsoft, National Oilwell Varco, Nike, Oracle, PepsiCo, Qualcomm, Raytheon, Starbucks, Visa, Walt Disney, and Wells Fargo; and has options on AIG, Coca-Cola, and Wells Fargo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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