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The Largest 100 Companies Pay This Much in Taxes

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 Name Stock Symbol 2012 Overall Tax Rate 2012 State Tax Rate 2012 Federal Tax Rate 2012 International Tax Rate
Average N/A 26.9% 3.1% 29.2% 23.1%
Citigroup C 0.1% neg. income neg. income 32.4%
Visa V 2.9% (24.3%) 9.7% 18.3%
AbbVie ABBV 7.9% N/A N/A 5.2%
MetLife MET 8.9% neg. income neg. income 13.5%
Texas Instruments TXN 9.1% (0.6%) (13.5%) 13.7%
Mondelez International MDLZ 9.5% neg. income neg. income 19.1%
Amgen AMGN 13.3% 0.2% 30.5% 4.2%
General Electric GE 13.6% N/A 3.3% 23.1%
eBay EBAY 15.4% 6.4% 59.7% 3%
UPS UPS 17.1% (4.9%) 7.8% 26.4%
Medtronic MDT 17.6% N/A N/A 8.1%
Google GOOG 19.4% 2.9% 37.9% 5.3%
Baxter BAX 19.5% (6.7%) 60.6% 14.2%
Qualcomm QCOM 19.5% (0.4%) 9.9% 31.1%
Pfizer PFE 19.8% neg. income neg. income 16.4%
DuPont DD 19.9% (4.7%) 2.5% 25.7%
Cisco Systems
CSCO 20.8% 2% 48.4% 7%
Oracle ORCL 23% 4.3% 29.9% 12.5%
Coca-Cola KO 23.1% 3% 43.6% 13%
The Bank of New York Mellon BK 23.6% 5.2% 20.4% 20.5%
Johnson & Johnson JNJ 23.7% N/A N/A 14.9%
Microsoft MSFT 23.8% 9.6% 139.7% N/A
EMC EMC 24.1% 3.3% 37.5% 7.6%
IBM IBM 24.2% 4.4% 18.2% 25.4%
Honeywell HON 24.4% 1.6% 31.5% 17%
Eli Lilly
LLY 24.4% 2.2% 23.4% N/A
Schlumberger SLB 24.4% 2.3% 29.9% 21%
Twenty-First Century Fox FOXA 24.5% N/A N/A N/A
United Technologies UTX 24.8% 4.6% 28.4% 19.8%
Nike NKE 25% 7% 30% 20.7%
Apple AAPL 25.2% 5.6% 64.6% 1.9%
PepsiCo PEP 25.2% 5.6% 32.9% 16.7%
Capital One COF 25.8% 1.5% 24.7% 20.9%
Intel INTC 26% N/A 26.6% N/A
JPMorgan Chase JPM 26.4% 2.9% 21.9% 36.2%
Procter & Gamble PG 27.1% N/A 26.3% N/A
Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold FCX 27.5% 1.6% 21.1% 34.6%
Accenture ACN 27.6% 5.9% 37.3% 23.9%
AT&T T 27.8% N/A 25.9% N/A
Merck
MRK 27.9% 0.4% 46.6% 7.7%
Gilead Sciences GILD 28.8% 1.3% 35.9% 3%
Ford Motor F 28.8% (2.5%) 31.3% 29.2%
US Bancorp USB 28.9% 4.4% 24.6% N/A
3M
MMM 29% 2.9% 25.5% 29.4%
National Oilwell Varco NOV 29.2% 2.6% 30.3% 25.1%
Philip Morris International PM 29.5% N/A N/A 28.2%
MasterCard MA 29.8% 1.2% 30.8% 26%
Monsanto MON 30.2% 3.3% 28.3% 27.5%
Allstate ALL 30.2% N/A N/A N/A
American Express AXP 30.5% 3.5% 20.7% neg. income
Caterpillar CAT 30.7% 1.6% 31.9% 28%
Wal-Mart Stores WMT 31% 3.2% 29.2% 26.9%
Berkshire Hathaway BRK-B 31.1% N/A N/A N/A
Anadarko Petroleum APC 31.4% 106.1% 11.4% 28.1%
Raytheon RTN 31.6% N/A 31.4% 34.2%
Wells Fargo WFC 32% 3.8% 29.4% 6.2%
Colgate-Palmolive CL 32.1% N/A N/A N/A
Comcast CMCSA 32.3% 3.5% 28.3% 43.3%
Halliburton HAL 32.3% 2.1% 30.5% 31.4%
McDonald's MCD 32.4% 6.8% 44.3% 22%
American Electric Power AEP 32.4% (2.3%) 34.6% N/A
Lockheed Martin LMT 32.6% N/A N/A N/A
Starbucks SBUX 32.8% 4.7% 30.7% 21.1%
Goldman Sachs Group GS 33.3% 9.6% 34.1% 15.7%
Walt Disney DIS 33.3% 2.8% 30.1% 36.5%
Dow Chemical DOW 33.9% neg. income neg. income 30.8%
Boeing BA 34% 1.8% 33% 14.8%
Time Warner TWX 34.3% 2.3% 23.8% 12066.7%
Exelon EXC 34.9% N/A N/A N/A
Target TGT 34.9% 3% 32.4% neg. income
Emerson Electric EMR 35% 3.3% 35.6% 30.1%
FedEx FDX 35.3% 3.6% 29.7% 50.6%
Altria Group MO 35.4% 5.2% 30.2% 31.3%
Southern SO 35.6% 3.9% 31.7% N/A
UnitedHealth Group UNH 35.9% N/A N/A N/A
Costco Wholesale COST 36.1% 5.6% 33.3% 30.8%
Norfolk Southern NSC 36.6% 3.7% 32.9% N/A
Walgreen WAG 37% N/A N/A N/A
Home Depot HD 37.2% 4.5% 32.6% 38.4%
Union Pacific UNP 37.5% 4.3% 33.2% N/A
Lowe's
LOW 37.6% 4.6% 31.9% neg. income
CVS Caremark CVS 38.6% 6.2% 32.4% N/A
ExxonMobil XOM 39.4% N/A 25.7% 40.7%
Occidental Petroleum OXY 40.2% 2.3% 30.5% 43%
Chevron CVX 43.2% 6% 28.1% 45.2%
ConocoPhillips COP 51.5% 6.3% 16.9% 61.6%
Apache APA 59% 0.6% 27.8% 74%
Amazon.com AMZN 78.7% N/A N/A neg. income
Facebook FB 89.3% 3.7% 36.4% neg. income
General Dynamics GD 161.4% (1.9%) 98% neg. income
Abbott Laboratories ABT (89.8%) neg. income neg. income 17.5%
Morgan Stanley MS (45.6%) neg. income neg. income 34.8%
Bank of America BAC (36.3%) 28.8% (159.3%) 109.7%
AIG AIG (27.9%) neg. income neg. income 5.4%
Bristol-Myers Squibb BMY (6.9%) neg. income neg. income 14.4%
Verizon Communications VZ (6.7%) (3.1%) (3.6%) (6%)
Devon Energy DVN neg. income neg. income neg. income neg. income
General Motors GM neg. income neg. income neg. income neg. income
Hewlett-Packard HPQ neg. income neg. income neg. income neg. income
Simon Property Group SPG Tax-free REIT Tax-free REIT Tax-free REIT Tax-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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