10 Companies That Pay the Most Taxes


Produced by Drew Trachtenberg

Contrary to popular belief, some of the nation's biggest companies do pay the top corporate tax rate.

You've probably seen reports on big companies that pay surprisingly little in federal taxes, due to loopholes and accounting gimmicks. Thanks to the website 24/7 Wall Street, we have a list of the 10 companies that pay the most in taxes, shelling out to Uncle Sam at the top corporate rate of 35 percent.

Most of the top 10 come from three sectors: oil and gas, banking and technology. All of them paid at least $4 billion to the U.S. Treasury last year.

Topping the list, way in front of everyone else, is ExxonMobil (XOM), which paid a whopping $31 billion dollars in 2012. Year in and year out, it's either first or second in annual revenue. Part of its recent success is tied to the steady rise in crude oil prices.

<b class="credit">Brian Harkin, Getty Images</b>
Brian Harkin, Getty Images

Chevron (CVX) is number two on the list and Conoco-Phillips (COP) is number six. But Conoco is likely to fall out of the top 10 this year; it recently split into two pieces, one handling refining and marketing, the other exploration and production.

Number three on the list is Apple (AAPL). Its tax bite has increased dramatically in the past few years as sales have exploded. It paid more than $14 billion in taxes last year.

The other tech giants on the list are IBM (IBM) at number nine and Microsoft (MSFT) at ten.

Wells Fargo (WFC) is number four, with a tax burden of more than $9 billion dollars. Unlike some of its biggest rivals, Wells focuses more heavily on consumer banking instead of the more volatile investment banking.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is number seven on the list. It's been under fire recently following a $6 billion trading loss, and accusations last week from a Senate panel of a cover-up.

Rounding out the list are Wal-Mart (WMT), ranked fifth with a tax-expense of $8 billion dollars, and Warren Buffett's company, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A, BRK-B), at number eight.

But there's no correlation between high tax, high revenue companies and stock performance. Only four companies on this list out-performed the S&P 500 last year – Berkshire Hathaway, JPMorgan, Wal-Mart and Wells Fargo.

Photo credit: Brian Harkin, Getty Images