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Tax Peculiarities Mean Facebook Paid No Net Taxes For 2012

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the take-avoidance-is-prudent dept.

Facebook 307

Frosty Piss writes "Despite earning more than $1 billion in profits last year, social media juggernaut Facebook paid zilch when it came to federal and state taxes in 2012. In fact, the website will actually be getting a refund totaling $429 million thanks to a tax reduction for executive stock options. In the coming years, Facebook will continue to get monster tax breaks, totaling about $3 billion. 'The employees cash in stock options, and at that point there is tax deduction for the company,' Robert McIntyre, of watchdog group Citizens for Tax Justice, said. 'Because even though it doesn't cost Facebook a nickel, the government treats it as wages and they get a deduction for it.'" (That's not to say that Facebook employees' salaries didn't get taxed.)

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Peculiarities? (4, Interesting)

biodata (1981610) | about a year and a half ago | (#42926957)

This is normal - the rich don't pay tax.

Re:Peculiarities? (5, Insightful)

Lord Byron II (671689) | about a year and a half ago | (#42926975)

This is normal in that generally, in the US tax code, you can defer paying taxes by paying employees more, by making investments, etc. Only if that dollar you collect becomes profit do you generally pay taxes on it.

It's not a rich vs poor thing either. Poor people get tax benefits in the form of the EIC and the personal deduction. Middle income earners get to deduct health care expenses and certain job expenses (uniforms, union dues, sometimes use of a vehicle).

The point is that everyone gets tax breaks and the reason why is that our tax code is crazy complicated. Facebook will pay their share eventually, but it's just not going to be on their 2012 return.

Re:Peculiarities? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927015)

LOL. Seriously, LOL.
Try doing what the rich do to pay zero tax and you end up in jail.

Re:Peculiarities? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927695)

Or audited -- often -- complete with having to drag an accountant, and likely a lawyer, into it. Which costs $$$.

Yeah, my "peculiarity" is that I pay my measly few thousand in taxes each and every year without trying to weasel out of it. Faceplant's "peculiarity" is that they don't pay their millions in taxes.

That's the fucking peculiarity, right there, all right.

Re:Peculiarities? (5, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927753)

Try doing what the rich do to pay zero tax and you end up in jail.

Not true. If you work for a paycheck, and receive a W-2, you are screwed. But if you run your own business, or work as a contractor, most taxes are avoidable even for a "little guy."

I pay very little tax. My income is above the median, but I don't think many people would consider me rich. I own three domestic corporations (a Delaware C-corp, a California S-corp, and a Nevada S-corp), and an overseas Cayman Islands corporation. These cost just a few hundred bucks each to set up. Any middle class person could afford to do the same. I can report income through whichever jurisdiction and type of corp offers the best deductions for that particular type of income. I can move income between corps by selling "services" or paying license fees. I avoid paying personal taxes by living off non-taxable loans, rather than taxable income, from the corporations.

All of this is perfectly legal. I was audited by the IRS once, and had to pay a fine of $420 for a bookkeeping error, but otherwise they said everything was fine.

Of course these loopholes were set up for the rich, but there is nothing to stop the rest of us from using them too. If you think about it, we have a good system: people that don't mind paying taxes pay them, and those of us that prefer not to, don't.

Re:Peculiarities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927061)

It is not deferred! That money is spent and gone forever. Middle income earners can deduct medical, but only if it is a huge portion of their income, I think it was like 30%. For FB this is not a tax break, it's a deduction.

Re:Peculiarities? (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927101)

What about fsa?

I deduct a lot of money from medical and daycare this way
And insurance premiums are pre tax deductible as well

Re:Peculiarities? (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927445)

What about fsa?

I deduct a lot of money from medical and daycare this way
And insurance premiums are pre tax deductible as well

That's great if your employer has an FSA account. For most people, insurance premiums are not pre-tax. First, only insurance premiums from an employer sponsored plan "may" be pre-taxed and then, only if your employer has a cafeteria plan. It's not automatic and most businesses in the US do not provide it (although a large minority of them do).

Re:Peculiarities? (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927275)

I spent $3000 on medical in 2011 and $2000 on medical in 2012. I was able to claim it both times by itemizing deductions.

Re:Peculiarities? (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927283)

I should also note that in 2011, that accounted for less than 10% of my income and in 2012, that was about 6% of my income.

Re:Peculiarities? (3, Interesting)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927473)

To deduct medical expenses, they have to be in excess of 7.5% of your AGI. In 2012, that would mean you would need an AGI below $26,667 to be able to deduct any of your medical expense. Even with an AGI of $26,667, it is very unusaul for your itemized deductions to exceed the standard deduction, not impossible, but unusual, so if you did deduct $2,000 in medical expenses on your itemized deductions, you might want to check your tax return before the IRS does.

Re:Peculiarities? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927555)

it is very unusaul for your itemized deductions to exceed the standard deduction

Bullshit. Do you have a mortgage? Your itemized deduction now most likely exceeds the standard deduction.

Re:Peculiarities? (2)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927329)

It is not deferred! That money is spent and gone forever. Middle income earners can deduct medical, but only if it is a huge portion of their income, I think it was like 30%. For FB this is not a tax break, it's a deduction.

It's technically 10%.

For most people it actually has to be significantly more then 10% because the IRS gives you a deduction of $5,950 for free, therefore unless your medical plus your other deductible expenses are $6,000 greater then your income you shouldn't bother deducting.

As a tax Pro I have only deducted for a couple who had $50k medical expenses and people who owned houses.

Re:Peculiarities? (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927333)

Goddangit, ignore "greater then your income."

I swear it made sense in one of my drafts, but I meant to delete it.

Re:Peculiarities? (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927475)

You can deduct medical expenses in excess of 7.5% of your adjusted gross income, which, yes, is a hell of a lot of medical expenses.

Re:Peculiarities? (5, Insightful)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927085)

in the US tax code, you can defer paying taxes by paying employees more, by making investments, etc. Only if that dollar you collect becomes profit do you generally pay taxes on it.

I believe Facebook and other companies eliminate their profits by paying "licensing" fees to a shell subsidiary. This not an investment in any way, just rerouting the profits somewhere else to avoid taxes.

The point is that everyone gets tax breaks and the reason why is that our tax code is crazy complicated

In practice, it turns out that you get better tax breaks when you have a dedicated team of lawyers who can route your profits across international borders. I suspect I'd get higher tax breaks if I had headquarters in Dublin and a couple of subsidiaries in Cayman Islands.

Just like the equality in politics. Everyone can lobby the politicians -- but lobbyists get paid to do it full time and the rest of us have to take time off from our job. The amount of resources behind you make a big difference in practice, even if "everyone can do it"

Re:Peculiarities? (4, Informative)

meustrus (1588597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927187)

The point is that everyone gets tax breaks and the reason why is that our tax code is crazy complicated.

This is the definite truth. I can personally vouch for the fact that the federal government just loves giving huge tax credits to incomes between $6000 and about $40,000 a year. Middle class people can generally find enough deductions to drop their tax burden and they also have most of the same "loopholes" available to them that rich people do.

The real problem with the tax code is that it's so complicated that a person has to be able to pay good money to shield their money from taxes, mostly by paying an expert to deal with the labyrinthine tax code. It just doesn't become economical to do so until that person has some serious assets.

Of course, corporate tax code is completely from individual tax code. I personally clicked into this article to see if anyone who knows more than I do had yet addressed the claim that offering stock options doesn't cost Facebook anything. No matter how much all of us - myself included - would like to see corporations pay more taxes, the fact is that most of the ways they avoid paying up (but certainly not all) involve giving the money to their employees or charities instead. And no matter what anyone else on Slashdot seems to think, anyone cashing out stock options for Facebook is (now) a rich person paying taxes on that income.

Re:Peculiarities? (5, Interesting)

Let's All Be Chinese (2654985) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927383)

Apparently companies don't pay taxes [theregister.co.uk] (ref [archive.org] ) in the sense that anything they do pay someone else gets to pay -- the employees, the customers, the shareholders, you name it.

Even without that caveat I'd be strongly in favour of a simple tax code, one that simply isn't complicated enough to have much in the way of loopholes. Perhaps a flat-fee on income, or a VAT if that really is a cheaper* tax overall to levy, tied to the yearly budget in a straight-forward way so that politician stupidity gives fairly direct feedback in your wallet, and then hopefully influences your voting.

Assuming that indeed, companies would shove off any taxes paid anyway, well, let them not pay taxes, let the people who receive income from the company do. The upside of that is that since more tax is coming from employees, it's now harder to hide taxables on other sides of borders.

The problem with that sort of thing, though, is that simplicity is a two-edged sword: The politicians no longer can hide their shenanigans either. Look at the debt rate. Eventually that's going to have to be paid back from taxes. And suddenly you're keenly aware of that fact.

* Where "cheaper" means less inefficiencies due to collecting and side effects.

Re:Peculiarities? (5, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927271)

This is normal - the tax code is broken.

The tax system should have deductions available to small and/or struggling businesses. But, the system is broken, and obviously so, when the most successful businesses routinely pay zero taxes.

The system is so very broken, that I'm willing to see all deductions killed off, and every person, every business in the United States charged a flat rate on income. No more special rates for stocks, bonds, etc. Income is income, no matter the source. Tax it all, with no deduction, no deferrals, nothing.

The ONLY concession I'm willing to make, is to tax net profit, rather than gross profit. But, I want a damned strict accounting of those gross and net profits. Very damned strict. To hell with those licensing schemes mentioned in other posts. And, no, we will not allow any foreign taxes paid to be deducted from taxes due in the US. If you have an office in Ireland, or wherever, you pay your taxes there - and you ALSO pay your taxes here. The offices in Ireland suddenly seem to be cost-ineffective? That's your problem - get rid of the office. That's up to you, though. We have no objections if you continue to piss your money away on some office that never served any purpose other than to cheat us out of taxes.

Re:Peculiarities? (5, Informative)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927353)

The reason they get this tax break is that only profits are taxed.

A few years back companies were literally printing money with their stock options. They could give any employee seven figures in stock without affecting their bottom line. So they did. In 2006 this was changed because it was unfair to all the other shareholders, who lost value in the company for each new share that was printed.

But if options are a business expense you can reduce your taxable profit by giving out lots of options.

How about this as an option... (1)

Pollux (102520) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927527)

To hell with those licensing schemes mentioned in other posts. And, no, we will not allow any foreign taxes paid to be deducted from taxes due in the US. If you have an office in Ireland, or wherever, you pay your taxes there - and you ALSO pay your taxes here.

I don't think it would be fair to tax foreign operations, if those foreign operations generate foreign income.

Therein lies the problem. Currently, a company that generates, say, 90% of its income in America is sending, say, 90% of its profits overseas.

Here's what would be fair and equitable: For any company with an international presence, if 90% of your income is generated in America, then 90% of your net profits are taxed, regardless of where you house those profits throughout the world.

Of course, then we'll probably see companies shift their financial operations overseas, allowing them to claim that income is no longer made "in America", which wouldn't at all be a difficult shift in today's internet-based global economy. In which case we change the law once more to say that you either still pay a percent of profits or instead pay a flat tax on international income, whichever is larger. Businesses would scream holy hell, but it doesn't matter, because they're the ones that brought this on themselves. If you profit from America, you are obligated to pay America taxes so that America can continue to afford to be America.

Re:How about this as an option... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927671)

Define where a company makes its profits. Easy enough when that is a durable good, but there are a lot of companies who just license intellectual property, or do services - where exactly do they "make their profit"?

Re:Peculiarities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927557)

Have you considered how such a policy would encourage or discourage foreign corporations from expanding their businesses into the USA, or maintaining a presence inside our borders? How would it affect our economy if the majority of foreign corporations picked up and moved out of the USA entirely in reaction?

Re:Peculiarities? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927721)

We already see a net loss of business in America. I'm not to worried - we don't really need thousands of foreign corporations picking our bones. Let them all depart, and allow local and small businesses to pick up where the corporations have left off.

If the odd corporation actually wants to invest in America, they'll accept the tax structure.

Re:Peculiarities? (2)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927743)

Huh?

The ONLY concession I'm willing to make, is to tax net profit, rather than gross profit. But, I want a damned strict accounting of those gross and net profits. Very damned strict.

Net profit is taxed, not gross. If a company makes an investment allowed under the tax code, that takes away from the gross profit margin. Accounting is strict and it has to be because companies that have huge receipts and little or no profit are scrutinized. Fundamentally, the use of off shore cash migrations and segmenting the business into various profit and loss centers is at the heart of the problem. I can have very, very profitable operations in one country and losing interests elsewhere however I can combine all of that to say "I didn't make any money." That's the multi-national play and tax havens like Ireland and the Cayman islands are shelters for these kinds of shenanigans. But then again, our new Treasury Secretary already knows how to play that game. [weeklystandard.com] He operated over 100 Investment funds in the Caymans.

One option to fix this is that States are using is to impose more and more franchise taxes, the privilege of operating in a state for example, to find revenue. Most of the time it is based on gross receipts and while I don't agree with that in principle, it may be one of those things that can be used to help balance out this multi-nationals when it comes to selling or operating in a country and not paying any taxes to that country.

Re:Peculiarities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927393)

Yeah, I understand the principle (encourage investment), but I don't understand how employees cashing in stock options is an incentive so strong that it deserves a tax refund for a company. Can someone explain the (supposed) principle behind that?

I don't even understand why "treating it as wages" deserves a tax reduction. What, is the government routinely paying companies to pay their regular employees now?

Re:Peculiarities? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927485)

but I don't understand how employees cashing in stock options is an incentive so strong that it deserves a tax refund for a company.

Why is it that you dont understand this? You do know what a refund is, right? Its when you already paid more in taxes than you ultimately end up owing at the final tally.

In other words, Facebook has actually handed the government nearly half a billion dollars in direct tax payments to the government this year, and thats not counting payroll taxes and so forth.

Re:Peculiarities? (4, Insightful)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927439)

This is normal in that generally, in the US tax code, you can defer paying taxes by paying employees more, by making investments, etc. Only if that dollar you collect becomes profit do you generally pay taxes on it.

It's not a rich vs poor thing either. Poor people get tax benefits in the form of the EIC and the personal deduction. Middle income earners get to deduct health care expenses and certain job expenses (uniforms, union dues, sometimes use of a vehicle).

The point is that everyone gets tax breaks and the reason why is that our tax code is crazy complicated. Facebook will pay their share eventually, but it's just not going to be on their 2012 return.

If Facebook eventually pays "their share" then their accountants and lawyers shoudl be fired. Most corporations in the US do not pay income tax because the system is created that way. That is why when the Obama Administration talked about raising the corporate tax rate, nobody cared. OTOH, when he talked about closing loopholes, everybody had a panic attack and the stock market dropped.

Bringing the poor and middle class into the mix is a red-herring. The poor don't have any substantial income to tax in the first place and what little is taxed via sales tax and social security is a larger percentage of their total income than what other groups pay. As for middle class tax deductions, well, yes, they can deduct some of those expenses, but businesses can deducted, not just some of them, but all of them, which is why the wealthy so often form their own corporations to deduct everything and draw a small salary, but have the corporation pay for everything. That way, the corporation doesn't pay tax, the wealthy person doesn't pay tax and everybody is happy (Actually, they do pay taxes but at substantially lower percentages than the minions who work for them).

It very much is a rich versus poor thing. Only the rich are blind to this.

Re:Peculiarities? (3, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927013)

Huh? The rich people (i.e. the people cashing out the stock options) did get taxed. Facebook, the corporate entity, didn't get taxed. Or rather, it did, it's deductions just out-weighed it's tax burden, plus it carried forward accumulated deductions from previous years.

Re:Peculiarities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927039)

The rich people (i.e. the people cashing out the stock options) did get taxed.

on what planet do you live ?

Re:Peculiarities? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927077)

The rich people (i.e. the people cashing out the stock options) did get taxed.

on what planet do you live ?

on earth, probably. the newly rich pay taxes, they're not corporations.

Re:Peculiarities? (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927287)

If those rich people didn't pay any taxes like you claim, your tax burden would be *considerably* higher. I'm not saying they pay a relatively high amount of taxes, but you would probably still wish you made as much in a year as they pay in taxes.

Re:Peculiarities? (2)

polar red (215081) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927081)

stock options) did get taxed

at what rate ?

earnings from labor gets taxed a lot more than earnings from 'monetary labor'.

Re:Peculiarities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927109)

stock options) did get taxed

at what rate ?

earnings from labor gets taxed a lot more than earnings from 'monetary labor'.

Also, I don't believe stock options get taxed. The profit from selling the stock gets taxed (at a lower rate) when you sell that stock.

For me, to have pre-tax money working for me is called 401k and there are strict annual limits ($16,500). But if anyone was giving me stock options, it could be worth a million.

Re:Peculiarities? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927239)

When you exercise your options, you (the individual) get taxed for the difference between what you paid for your newly acquired stock and the market price. For example, if the option price (what you paid) is $50, and the market price at that time is $75, the difference ($25) is taxed as if it is ordinary income, at whatever marginal tax rate applies depending on your overall income. That's at the Federal level. There is typically also state income tax on that $25 as well. That's all if you exercise the options and just sit on the stock.

Now, if you sell the stock immediately (no capital gains or losses), your taxes are just on that $25, considered ordinary income. If you hold the stock and its market price goes up from $75 to, say, $90, you pay an additional capital gains tax on the incremental $15 ($90-$75). If you hold the shares less than a year, it's considered short term capital gains, and you pay the same rate as if it were ordinary income. If you hold the shares more than a year, that $15 is considered long term capital gains, and you pay a lower rate (15% I believe). This lower rate on long term capital gains is to encourage thoughtful investment in companies with long term potential, and to discourage viewing the stock market as a gambling parlor.

The tax code in the US is *designed* to distort the market by influencing people's behavior. "Loopholes" is a pejorative term commonly applied to incentives consciously put in the tax code specifically to encourage or discourage certain behaviors. If people have issues with those incentives, then they should contact their representatives in government and request that those loopholes be removed. However, over the years, tax incentives have been layered on one after another until the code is overly complex and it is practically impossible to understand all the unintended consequences of even simple changes. Which is why I am a proponent of a flat tax on fungible income at the individual level. (And if you think that's not "progressive" enough, just remember that people who make twice as much, or 5 times or 1000 times, would pay that many more times as much in tax dollars, typically for no more and usually less government services. I view that as plenty "progressive".)

Re:Peculiarities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927167)

earnings from labor gets taxed a lot more than earnings from 'monetary labor'.

And this is problematic how, exactly?

Or are you one of those who believes we should destroy the ability for people to retire, because "only rich people have capital gains"?

Re:Peculiarities? (4, Insightful)

polar red (215081) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927201)

And this is problematic how, exactly?

Or are you one of those who believes we should destroy the ability for people to retire, because "only rich people have capital gains"?

No, if we raise taxes on monetary income, we can lower the taxes on normal labor.
my point : it should be taxed on the same rate it's called fairness

Re:Peculiarities? (2)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927425)

No, it really should not. I thought this too, for a while, before I realized the impact of what I was saying.

Imagine a loan given to a farmer by Mr. Moneybags (or any investor or Angel) to purchase land for farming. Mr. Moneybags determined that 7% interest APR was fair, given the risk of the farm failing, inflation, taxes, and a small slice of profit. Farmer uses this interest to maximize the farm he can afford, so that he maximizes his own profit. Because it is a long term loan 30 years, small changes in interest mean big changes in cost.

Gov't steps in because the DNP decides it should be taxed like income. Now Mr. Moneybags is paying four times more in taxes on the return from his loan. Because that breaks his risk calculations, he is losing money on it, and has to adjust his loan price to 11% APR to compensate. Farmer can no longer afford the large farm because 30 years of compound interest at 11% makes his monthly payments higher than what he can afford or, so his farm size shrinks dramatically (i don't have a calculator off hand, but intuition says by half).

That effect ripples in all sectors of the economy, and the whole economy slows. Gov't ends up with less revenue and people end.up poorer than if t ad been left alone.

Re:Peculiarities? (1)

asylumx (881307) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927487)

Except that Mr. Moneybags is not likely loaning that money out of his own pocket, but instead he's loaning it out from a company he works for.

Re:Peculiarities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927489)

Soo what your saying is : capitalism is fundamentally broken?. it favors the rich over the poor.

Re:Peculiarities? (1)

polar red (215081) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927501)

simple solution : the fed should lend out money directly to the people, instead of through the hands of the very rich. this mister moneybags doesn't lend his own money you know.

Re:Peculiarities? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927507)

Money is typically borrowed from banks, not Mr Moneybags. Banks don't loan what's on hand, they create 90% of it out of thin air. It only starts to exist when it is repaid. See fractional reserve system.

Re:Peculiarities? (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927257)

There is also the problem that some stock options get taxed as capital gains only when the stock is actually sold. So the employee can just get a long term loan with the stocks as a collateral instead.

Re:Peculiarities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927017)

This is normal - the rich don't pay tax.

What is exactly the difference with the middle ages? Also then they said to the normal man that he was better off with his current situation and so he should shut up.

Re:Peculiarities? (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927229)

What is exactly the difference with the middle ages?

In the middle ages, they had not heard of Marie Antoinette, and Madame La Guillotine. Of course, in the USA, no one knows about history anyway, so perhaps there is no difference.

Re:Peculiarities? (2)

theVarangian (1948970) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927019)

This is normal - the rich don't pay tax.

But we get to bail them out when they screw up because they are 'too big to fail'.

Re:Peculiarities? (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927031)

This is normal - the rich don't pay tax.

Interestingly enough, not every corporation gets to avoid taxes to such degree. Some corporations do pay taxes, if not at the official "highest" tax rate

So there is more to it. Is it the mega-rich that really pay no taxes? Is it the non-manufacturing companies that can license their profits away to a shell subsidiary?

Re:Peculiarities? (5, Informative)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927335)

Forbes did an article last April about what some companies pay in taxes. Here's a few of the more recognizable companies.

Exxon Mobil - 42% ($27.3 billion paid on $41 billion in net income)
Chevron - 43.3% ($17.4 billion paid on $26.9 billion in net income)
JP Morgan Chase - 29.1% ($8.2 billion paid on $19 billion in net income)
WalMart - 32.6% ($5.9 billion paid on $15.7 billion in net income)
Microsoft - 15.9% ($5.3 billion on $23.5 billion)
Wells Fargo - 31.5% ($4.9 billion on $15.9 billion)
IBM - 24.5% ($4.2 bil on $15.9 bil)
Apple - 24.6% ($4 bil on $33 bil)
Intel - 27.2% ($3.3 bil on $12.9 bil)
Oracle - 23.6% ($2.93 bil on $9.7 bil)
Walt Disney - 33.8% ($2.3 bil on $5 bil)
McDonald's - 31.3% ($2.1 bil on $5.5 bil)

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2012/04/16/which-megacorps-pay-megataxes/ [forbes.com]

Re:Peculiarities? (3, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927589)

..and this is why corporations should get to act as a "person" with regards to many laws. Thats over $100 billion in paid taxes right there for just those 12 corporations, equivalent to about ~$900 per household.

Of course they get to donate to political campaigns.. so do unions, for pretty much the same reason. Remember that this country was started specifically because of taxation without representation.

Re:Peculiarities? (1)

theophilosophilus (606876) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927233)

This is normal - the rich don't pay tax.

The normal thing here is someone on Slashdot didnt read the TFA. The debate is about corporate taxation not "the rich". The individuals still pay the tax on wages.
It is fair (intellectually, not necissarily a correct posititon) to argue that income should be taxed twice, once at the corporation an once with the investor / employee. It is also fair (intellectually, not necissarily a correct posititon) to debate deductions. But it is knee jerk illogic to confuse a debate about corporate taxation with the debate whether "the rich" pay their fair share.

Re:Peculiarities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927483)

"The rich..."
So a corporation is a person, at least for purposes of complaining about "the rich" on Slashdot.
Thanks for playing.

Fixing these tax loopholes for companies... (2)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | about a year and a half ago | (#42926981)

... would mean that there are less things which need cutting from the federal budget.

Re:Fixing these tax loopholes for companies... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927317)

Removing the loopholes would probably also make the IRS et al more efficient., and hence cheaper. It would also make your country appear more respectable towards its citizens and towards outsiders (e.g. Europeans).

Such a move might also have the effect of changing the current climate towards businesses. If that were to happen, you might get jobs with decent pay. You might also start to realize that there are other laws aside from the loopholes that benefit corporations far too much. How's that high-speed fiber infrastructure working out for you by the way?

Re:Fixing these tax loopholes for companies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927685)

more efficient irs with simplified tax code? not gonna happen.

irs workers, along with accountants and tax lawyers, have _tremendous job security_ funded by millionaires and billionaires paying off congress to keep the tax code complex and full of loopholes that the lawmakers themselves can't even see until it's too late.

Re:Fixing these tax loopholes for companies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927703)

The Constitution should be enough reason to cut things from the federal budget. Alas, we've become a nation who only pays lip service to our highest law.

Lazy journalism (1)

arendjr (673589) | about a year and a half ago | (#42926985)

"Facebook didn't immediately respond to an emailed request for comment, according to The Huffington Post."

While I agree with the article's premise, this just seems incredibly lazy to me. Heck, e-mail isn't even meant for immediate responses!

Re:Lazy journalism (1, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927151)

No, lazy is not soliciting comment, or not updating the article if facebook responds to the request.

BEN DOVER !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42926987)

Unkle Sammy wants to take from you so to give to those fucking zillionairez !!

God Save Our Soles !!

JEWS don't pay tax, more like (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42926993)

The poor, whining, rat-faced little Jews...
"Haven't ve suffered enuff?" they whine...
"The Jew cries out in pain as he strikes you". Polish saying.

Fakebook don't pay taxes because they are JEWS, and the JEWS run the tax office, and make sure their JEW friends don't have to pay up.

www.prothink.org

How much does this cost? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927043)

Whenever such stories pop up I wonder how much it would cost your average worker to get the same effect.

How big is the overhead for setting up a few shell companies to outsource your job to yourself and move your contracor fee (formally known as salary) to Ireland and back into a non-profit with the sole profit of providing for you?

Of course when you do it as an indivual, it's tax fraud, but where's the point where it turns into SOP? Can you get together with a thousand people, set up a bogus company, Random Stuff Inc., everybody still does their old job but you all pay zero taxes? Ten thousand?

Re:How much does this cost? (2)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927281)

It becomes tax fraud when you can't afford the tax lawyer to defend you.

BWAHAHAHAHA (0)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927051)

Capitalism's a joke XD

Re:BWAHAHAHAHA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927111)

They are wages. You want companies to pay tax on wages as profit, on top of the social security tax employers and employees already pay? I have a better idea. Why don't we all give up all salaries, live in a commune, and give everything to the state? Yeah, that works better...

Re:BWAHAHAHAHA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927215)

Welcome to communism. The final form of democracy.

They'd just pass the cost along, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927123)

Don't worry, this is perfectly fine. If we taxed Facebook, they would just pass the taxes along to us in the form of higher prices!

....

Right?

How much do you pay for your Facebook account again?

Re:They'd just pass the cost along, right? (1)

JustOK (667959) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927213)

We pay with our freedom and privacy.

Wrong question (5, Insightful)

ebonum (830686) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927161)

The article should be: "Clueless lawmakers who have never done and honest day's work and are clueless as to how businesses actually operate wrote laws so bad and full of holes that Facebook posts billions in profits and payed zero taxes."

Please. Quit blaming the companies. They do exactly what they are supposed to do. It is 100% the fault of the lawmakers.

When you see wind farm tax breaks, do you get upset about wind power generation companies taking advantage of tax laws? All companies try to take advantage of all tax breaks. That is the way the world works. It is a fundamental truth. The tax code is somewhere in the neighborhood of 70,000+ pages. Larger companies have larger budgets for tax planning and have a greater ability to take advantage of tax breaks.

Simplify the tax code. Life for everyone will become easier. You'll put 100,000 tax consultants out of work. Perhaps they will go off and build something instead of making lots of money helping companies minimize taxes.

Re:Wrong question (5, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927223)

The big problem with your argument is that the lawmakers aren't clueless. This isn't an accident. These laws are crafted specifically to allow rich people to avoid paying taxes. The problem isn't clueless lawmakers who are getting hoodwinked, but more greedy lawmakers taking kick-backs. But even that isn't the real problem. The *real* problem is a set of beliefs, including that rich people are better than everyone else, that giving more and more money to rich people will help the economy grow, and that money is the only effective motivator of human behavior.

Re:Wrong question (1)

houghi (78078) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927285)

Please do not say this aloud. People might think you are a socialist and socialism is bad for the economy. Just look at socialist countries like Greece, Cuba, Spain and Sweden.

Uh, wait. Uhm. Socialism is bad! M'kay?

Re:Wrong question (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927377)

I know what we should do! Let's get a lot of big boats, fill them with unskilled Mexicans, and sail them over to Sweden. They are doing so well that they should be willing to "spread the wealth" by absorbing, say, 10-15% of their current population in unskilled immigrants. We can call it a stress test of their socialism.

Re:Wrong question (1)

PartyBoy!911 (611650) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927441)

We don't need your mexicans, we have lots of immigrants of our own. Turks, Marrocans, africans, chinese, you name it.

But why are you so upset by the mexicans. As far as we in the old world see it, the US is just a buch of immigrants who kicked some primitives out of their country and claimed it as the home of the brave...

You my dear "Bing Tsher E" are the immigrant who needs to get put on a boat and let the indians roam free again.

Re:Wrong question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927319)

Actually Wall Street hires all the top math students in the country to dream up ways of finding and exploiting these loopholes. The government is losing the arms race for closing the loopholes because they can't offer 7-digit salaries to grads.

Read it again: all of America's brightest mind are being diverted to exploiting the tax system to let the wealthiest institutions in the world get a free ride, or worse, get a refund of cash from actual contributors. This is why China, India, Brazil are going to out-innovate the old super-powers.

Re:Wrong question (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927363)

Undershoot, then overshoot. So close, and yet so far.

The OP was right, but undershot the problem in saying "companies are doing what they're supposed to" and blames "clueless lawmakers"; correct, but not going far enough.

The 2P is also right, in pointing out it's not simple naivete, but in fact GREEDY lawmakers who are taking kickbacks (in either power or money) for writing the laws in ways that enrich their contributors. Then he grossly overshoots the mark by going on to impute some sort of political bias, with an anti-Republican rant against a strawman set of GOP political beliefs.

If the problem was (as implied) solely with the Republicans and their (alleged) set of beliefs, why is the system as bad as it is? Since 1945, the Democrats controlled the Senate 70% of the sessions and the House a whopping 79% of the sessions.

My point isn't to paint the Republicans as "good guys" - the Republican politicians are greedy, self-interested scum.

It's simply evident that in this case, there IS no bias in Washington: our Federal politicians are ALL greedy self-interested scum and it's in no way attributable to a single party.

Re:Wrong question (1)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927519)

Um, no. He never mentioned the GOP or Republicans. It's just that the GOP/Republicans espouse trickle-down economics, which you correctly correlated to what was being discussed. Hence, you presumed he was talking about the GOP because he was refuting GOP talking points. That Democrats also behave under trickle-down economics means that the GP's post is spot on without having to name names because it's behavior being discussed, not political posturing.

Besides, as much as Democrats aren't "good guys", at least they seem more willing to waste money on health care than bombs. Then, again, I wish Democrats were more like the tax-and-spend Democrats of old, since that'd seem to be the biggest problem we have today; tying spending to taxes would inherently limit government influence and cutting taxes alone obviously is no means of cutting spending in any reasonable span of time, so the whole rhetoric along those lines is mostly crazy.

Re:Wrong question (3)

1u3hr (530656) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927225)

The article should be: "Clueless lawmakers who have never done and honest day's work and are clueless as to how businesses actually operate wrote laws so bad and full of holes that Facebook posts billions in profits and payed zero taxes." Please. Quit blaming the companies

Plenty of blame to go around.

The companies drafted the laws and paid lobbyists to bribe the lawmakers to enact them.

FYI, past tense of "pay" is "paid".

Re:Wrong question (1)

ruir (2709173) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927235)

Who do say they are clueless? They create this loopholes for the family, friends, and people who contribute to their parties.

Re:Wrong question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927269)

The lawmakers aren't the ones that are clueless you naive retard.

By the same logic, don't blame the politicians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927569)

Please. Quit blaming the politicians. They do exactly what they are supposed to do. It is 100% the fault of the VOTERS.

There, fixed that for you.

Remember the US elections, half the voters voted for a guy they THOUGHT would fix the economy BUT whose economic policies were considered so bad by the two leading economic newspapaers, they recommended people vote for the democrat who they hate with a passion but at least whose policies they might not agree with but are at least in the realms of sanity. And STILL half the voters voted for the guy who wanted to fix the economy with no plan and ideas that were completely loopy.

THAT is the reason the world is the way it is. Because voters are dumb as shit. Those that aren't just voting for their own narrow self intrests in the short term are voting because one day they might make it rich so no taxes for the rich and let the poor pay for it all regardless of how poor they are. The trailer trash republicans. Oh those poor rich guys who can barely survive on a few hundred thousands while they stand in front of their trailer with a family of 12.

THAT is the reason politics suck. Because voters have power but no accountability. We should tatoo people with their voting choice and if they voted wrong, they get culled. You voted for less regulation of the banks, well... pay your pound of fesh, we will be taking it from the neck.

Democracy was never created witht the idea of letting every lunatic have an equal vote on how the asylum should be run.

Remember that Warren Buffer is for HIGHER taxes for the rich. The rich REALLY do NOT need your sympathy or support, they got enough money that even as he himself proposes the tax rate goes to 70 percent, he will still be sitting pretty. Buffet has on more then one occasion commented on how unbalanced the system is in making the least deserving filthy fucking rich. So why not tax them to hell and back?

Why take the insane ramblings of a POLITICIAN and failed businessman (is Romney as rich as Buffet? No? Then he is a failure, why take advice from a man who is a failure in a sucky job by his own standards?) over one of the most succesful?

Because one day you to might have a million (no you won't) and you are scared to death the taxman will come and take it all away. So you pay your taxes now for the rich because one they you might be them and boy... will you be sitting pretty then.

This is not dissimilar to offering your daughter to the king, in the hope that one day you will be king and you can excersise your Droit du seigneur. The critical flaw in the logic is that you are not inline to be king. Ever.

The problem is that once you are rich, you actually need very little money. You can borrow your income, buy stuff that keeps its value. Pay yourself a tiny salary and have a company lease everything for you. Only the poor have to pay for stuff with cash they got through a salary. Or borrow with a credit card. Got enough stock? Then borrow some money against that stock, put the borrowed money into an account, collect interest and live of that.

It shouldn't be possible, but it is. Only foolish millionare lottery winners go to a Ferrari shop and drop a load of cash. Far simpler to lease the car through yourself and end up getting payed by the taxman to drive an expensive car you can sell on for more money then it originally cost in the first place.

And people with three cars on blocks on their lawn vote for this.

Democracy is letting the lunatics run the asylum.

Re:Wrong question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927597)

Just because something is legal does not mean it should be done. While we can blame the lawmakers for writing and passing bad laws, that does not mean we can't also blame corporations for exploiting bad laws, it is a perfectly valid tactic to try and shame companies into behaving more ethically.

Re:Wrong question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927645)

Even if it WAS the lawmakers 'fault' (rather than them being manipulated into this) it is still the companies who are abusing the system in this way. They are the only ones who can afford to do this, and we've set it up so they not only can, but MUST, as it is practically their sole purpose.

Re:Wrong question (1)

rundgong (1575963) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927649)

When you see wind farm tax breaks, do you get upset about wind power generation companies taking advantage of tax laws?

No, because that is the intention of the law.

When companies make deductions for expenses in foreign countries, the intention is not that they create fake expenses in tax heavens that exactly match the profits they make elsewhere.
The intention is this: If they actually produce value in other countries, the profits from that value should be taxed there.

Example:
1: An American company deducts a million dollars for having a subsidiary with 10 programmers in Germany = OK
2: Same company deducts 100 million dollars for having a subsidiary in the Cayman Islands that does nothing but send invoices for 100 million dollars = NOT OK

There's no pleasing an angry mob (4, Insightful)

bhmit1 (2270) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927183)

When corporations keep record profits internally and pay their people minimum wage, we scream that it's not fair and they need to pay their employees more. When they pay no taxes because they paid their employees with large stock options, they aren't paying their fair share, even though the marginal rate for employees is typically higher than the tax rate of a corporation. And contrary to the implications of the article, stock options do cost the company something, they cost the company the future ability to use those shares of the company to raise investor funds.

This all said, I do agree there's an inherent unfairness to small businesses who can't easily utilize international laws to move profits to a location where corporate income isn't taxed. But unless you're trying to move more business out of the US, I don't agree that the right answer is to force companies to pay taxes on foreign income. Rather, we should be doing more to eliminate red tape and other barriers to entry faced by people that want to start a company and hire people.

Re:There's no pleasing an angry mob (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927243)

". And contrary to the implications of the article, stock options the company something, they cost the company the future ability to use those of the company to raise investor funds."
+1to this. people should learn how corporate finance works before making comments on corporate financial policy. What do they think, the money the employees gained by exercising those stock options appeared out of nowhere?

Re:There's no pleasing an angry mob (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927265)

At least here in the uk, most small businesses don't end up paying corporation tax anyway: after salaries, very few are actually profitable. But ignoring that for a minute, it isn't hard ou'r costly to set up the kind of offshore system we're talking about. As long as you have some cost of business that isn't tied to a particular location (e.g.some custom software, a patent or something else of that nature) that you can put in the name of a irwin corporation you can readily sink the plausible operating profits of a typical sme for the cost of incorporating an offshore company and hiring adb offshore accountant to run out, which is to say no more than about $3,000 p.a.

Good! Starve that bureaucratic beast! (1)

mike555 (2843511) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927241)

Good! Starve that bureaucratic beast! The more companies do this, the better.

normal (2)

anonieuweling (536832) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927251)

This is normal, only in places where capitalism has gone wrong.
Yes, also where I live.
The lobbying powers of whatever entity have to killed entirely.
The government needs to serve the people and nobody else.
And companies are not people.

Dualist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927253)

The correct behavior is to "design" your company's taxation so that you are paying the highest amount of taxes. That would be holy and pure behavior.

This, instead, is detestable and bad behavior.

So much for "corporate tax base", eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927255)

Guess what THAT means folks - YOU, as homeowners, take up the slack instead!

* Makes sense - as politicians in the US are TRULY "the best money can REALLY buy"...

(They don't even WRITE THE BILLS THEY ATTEMPT TO PASS INTO LAW @ the obvious behest of their paymasters in "KORPORATE AMERIKA"...)

They're just in cahoots with one another & this makes it painfully obvious - yes, welcome to the world in 2013 people, lol!

APK

P.S.=> Stuff like this happening ordinarily would be unbelievable, especially that people ALLOW it to go on based on the very 1st sentence I typed above - By allowing it folks are letting them get away with what I feel equates to robbery in fact!

... apk

Re:So much for "corporate tax base", eh? (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927359)

Who do you think pays corporate taxes when they do pay?

Corporations just past the costs along, or they have lower profits for their shareholders (think 401k's and pension funds among the biggest investors), or workers will make less. Or maybe they won't expand the business.

Fuck Facebook! (1)

DaMattster (977781) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927277)

Yes, I said it, "Fuck Facebook!" Here is my off-topic rant: It is a giant waste of time contributing to the dumbing down of America and the loss of meaningful communication skills. And now, Facebook contributes nothing back by not paying any taxes!? I wish people would leave that site en masse and send it crashing down. Okay, rant over.

Re:Fuck Facebook! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927361)

Seconded.

Captcha - resents.

Fiscal stimulus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927279)

Well, it's fiscal stimulus isn't it? Growth is the increase in money supply, if Facebook is making money, even if its funny money subsidies from the government, it's still an increase in money supply. It still shows up as growth. It still makes the dollar look good.

So a lot of employees at Facebook get the money? They've turned something that was worthless (your private data) into something worth $1 billion pinky-in-mouth dollars! Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of blokes.

Would you rather money was funneled into Facebook by these dodgy tax arrangements or the military industrial complex who usually get it?

This should be a wake up call (0)

Kr1ll1n (579971) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927407)

This should be a wake up call, to all people, about why we need a simplified tax code.

What those screaming about the rich and corporations not paying their fair share need to realize is that in Facebook's case, the tax savings, plus negotiations on taxes with the state of NC, yielded an enormous and brand new data-center in NC. How many jobs do you think that created? How much tax was levied on the income of the employees working there?

Would you rather have higher unemployment, with a government that is rolling in the dough, spending millions after millions in failed projects? Worse than that, they subsidize certain companies in the market, which end up failing anyway, while other companies struggle to compete against them. How many jobs were lost by the subsidization of a company that ultimately ends up failing?

We need a national, fixed VAT, and nothing else. With our population, and some spending control in Congress, 5-10% would be fine. That includes exclusions for the following;

Food (Groceries Only)
Medical-related costs (including medicines)

Those 2 things are mandatory for staying alive. When you are alive, you can keep working. You can keep consuming, and ultimately, keep paying taxes.

Re:This should be a wake up call (1)

Kr1ll1n (579971) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927435)

Forgot to add that with a mandatory VAT, we should drop all other forms of taxation being employed currently.

In europe they are going to do somethin about it (1)

PartyBoy!911 (611650) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927411)

This just hit the news here in Europe:

Britain, France and Germany back multinational tax clampdown
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/02/16/uk-g20-russia-tax-idUKBRE91F00V20130216 [reuters.com]

(Reuters) - The British, French and German governments launched a joint initiative on Saturday to crack down on tax avoidance by multinational companies that will be presented to a G20 finance leaders meeting in July.

I hope it's not all talk....

The government actually gets MORE in tax revenue (1)

tlambert (566799) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927463)

The government actually gets MORE in tax revenue.

Consider that if there are $1B in RSUs converted from being RSUs into normal income for employees, that's $1B of employee income that gets taxed at the ordinary income tax rate, rather than $1B of corporate profits being taxed at the (much lower) corporate tax rate.

So instead of 15% of $1B, the taxes collected go up to 28% of $1B.

The reason this ends up paid by the employee instead of the company is because of the FAS rules that the government has established that incentivize RSUs in place of non-qualifying stock options.

One up side for the employee is that they realize a lower basis price for their stock (the pice at time of grant of the RSU, rather than time of exercise of an option), and it gets held as a long term capital gain instead of a short term, so it's "only" 28% instead of 35%. The employee could do this themselves with stock options by exercising early in the new year, and then the next year, selling all or part as long term gains between the previous years date of exercise and April 15th in order to pay the previous year's tax burden.

A second upside for the employee is that, even though they are being taxed at a higher effective rate on a smaller effective gain, it pulls out the risk of something like the .bomb. In other words, it reduces their downside risk should the stock lose value.

I had a number of friends at Netscape who were left holding the bag when between the exercise and hold of stock options for tax purposes, or just because they thought the stock would increase in value, and the stock crashed, leaving them with an AMT at exercise of millions, with no money to pay the AMT because they had relatively worthless stock and no cash. One friend was looking at a $27M debt to the state of California and the Federal government, and no way to pay it. The were going to send him to prison for tax evasion, so he took some of his savings, went to a gun shop, bought a gun, and put a bullet through his head.

Needless to say, I am against the government realizing the value of an asset until the asset holder sells (i.e. AMT is a great evil and needs to go away; until I have sold a stock obtained through option or RSU, I have not gotten income, and the government shouldn't either, since I don't have money to pay the taxes on the thing until it's been sold).

Also needless to say, in the context of this article, I do not pity the government for its significant, almost double, gain in tax revenue from income tax revenue that it gets by collecting it from individuals rather than the corporation.

wow, that's misleading (2)

sribe (304414) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927565)

First, when the employees cash in their stock options, they become liable for tax on the profits. The article doesn't mention that, which would only be slightly misleading, but that little comment at the end ("That's not to say that Facebook employees' salaries didn't get taxed.") implies that only their salaries got taxed, which is not true.

Second, the employee stock options did cost the company money--although there is no direct expense, that dilution of stockholder equity reduces the stock price. Not only today, but it was most certainly a factor when the IPO was priced.

Third, if they're getting a refund of $429 million, I'm pretty sure that's money that they overpaid and are getting back, whereas the summary is worded in a way to try make you think they never paid anything at all in 2012, and now the feds are handing them a check for $429 million.

Fourth, if you read the article instead of just the summary, it gets even worse. Facebook had a billion $ profit in 2012, after years of large losses which have been carried forward. This year they applied a billion of the accumulated prior losses in order to pay tax on $0. They have $3 billion in those prior losses still, so the article states that's $3 billion in taxes they won't pay, which is a bald-faced lie--that's $3 billion on which they will pay no tax, not $3 billion in taxes they won't pay.

Economic Ignorance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927593)

The economic ignorance underlying this story is truly, truly astounding. Congratulations into buying into the government sponsored envy.

So what? (1)

verbatim (18390) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927619)

The real problem is corporate executives with the clout to pay themselves next to nothing in cash and everything in stock and capital assets, taxed only when they choose to liquidate at their leisure. The fact that many corporations work around taxation and can, in this case, get a refund for having put their revenue back into the economy during the year, is not such an immortal sin as to consternate the general public.

I'm more concerned with big government stripping people of their right to free choice than I am with companies doing what their shareholders would demand of them.

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