Fortune 500 Companies that Spend Big on Lobbying and Avoid Taxes
Released on the second anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission case—which opened the floodgates to corporate spending on elections—this report takes a hard look at the lobbying activities of profitable Fortune 500 companies that exploit loopholes and distort the tax code to avoid billions of dollars in taxes.
Looking at 280 of the consistently profitable Fortune 500 companies out there, we found that they paid only about half the statutory corporate tax rate while spending $2 billion to lobby Congress on issues including tax policy. The report also calls out the “Dirty Thirty” of this group, which spent more money lobbying than they paid in taxes – giving us the title, “Representation Without Taxation”.
It’s no surprise that many of these corporations spend more on lobbying than in taxes since 29 of the 30 so deftly exploited loopholes in our tax code that they boasted negative tax rates – meaning they’re getting money back from our government.
The fact that corporations can spend more money lobbying than they pay in taxes makes a mockery of our tax code and our democracy.