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Verizon Didn’t Pay a Penny In Taxes For The Last 3 Years, New Study Claims

Phillip Dampier November 9, 2011 Consumer News, Public Policy & Gov't, Verizon, Video No Comments

Verizon Communications, a highly-profitable multi-billion dollar corporation, has not paid a penny in taxes for the past three years.

That charge comes from a new report issued by two non-profit groups that want America’s tax burden spread more fairly.

Corporate Taxpayers and Corporate Tax Dodgers, 2008-2010,” released by Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, scrutinized financial reports from nearly 300 profitable Fortune 500 companies.

At least 30 companies — including Verizon — were found to have maneuvered their way through corporate tax breaks and incentives, exporting revenue offshore, and other creative accounting to avoid paying a cent in taxes over the period.

Some of Verizon’s unionized workforce, fighting company efforts to curtail benefits and reduce pay, call the news a disgusting development.

“We wouldn’t mind if Verizon wasn’t paying taxes if they used the money saved to invest in American jobs,” said Myles Calvey, business manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union Local 2222. “Instead, while they dodge paying taxes in the U.S., they’re eliminating jobs and opening centers in Mexico and India. They wonder why the union hates them.”

Verizon disputes the findings, which do not allege the company broke any laws while trying to reduce the company’s tax bill.  In fact, American corporations have exported billions of dollars to offshore bank accounts specifically to avoid America’s corporate tax rate.  Some of those companies, including Verizon, now want the government to provide a special discount on corporate taxes in return for an agreement to repatriate corporate earnings.

Phil Santoro, a Verizon spokesman called the report “union-orchestrated” and says the company isn’t avoiding taxes, it is deferring them through government incentive programs designed to boost the economy.  The company also says it invested $16.5 billion over the time period in infrastructure expansion.

CNN reports on the growing number of American corporations that no longer pay taxes thanks to special tax breaks and incentive programs available only to them.  (3 minutes)

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