Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Activists and community members protest Amazon in New York City on February 14, 2019. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Amazon, Chevron, and Starbucks Among 91 Fortune 500 Corporations That Paid $0 in Federal Income Taxes in 2018: Report

"The 2017 tax law was a clear giveaway to corporations and their shareholders."

Jake Johnson

More than 90 large, profitable corporations on the Fortune 500 list effectively did not pay a penny in federal income taxes in 2018, according to a new report published Monday by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

"The key takeaway from this study is that the 2017 tax law is working out well for profitable corporations."
—Matthew Gardner, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy
ITEP examined financial filings from 379 Fortune 500 companies that reported a profit in 2018, the first year President Donald Trump's tax cuts took effect. The Republican tax law slashed the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.

"The 379 profitable corporations identified in this study paid an effective federal income tax rate of 11.3 percent on their 2018 income, slightly more than half the statutory 21 percent tax," ITEP said. "The 11.3 percent effective tax rate found in this study is likely the lowest effective tax rate in the last 40 years."

ITEP found that 91 of the 379 companies analyzed took advantage of loopholes to effectively not pay federal income taxes in 2018 despite making a combined profit of $101 billion. That list of companies includes prominent corporate giants such as Amazon, Halliburton, Chevron, Starbucks, and Delta Air Lines.

In a video posted on Twitter, ITEP listed all 91 corporations that payed zero dollars in federal income taxes last year:

Matthew Gardner, a senior fellow at ITEP and lead author of the report, said the 2017 Trump tax law was "destined to fail to live up to its grand promises."

"Proponents of the law claimed it would boost federal corporate tax revenue, but that is nearly impossible since the law not only reduced the corporate tax rate, it also left some of the most egregious loopholes intact," Gardner said in a statement. "The 2017 tax law was a clear giveaway to corporations and their shareholders."

Thanks to the Republican tax law, which Trump signed in 2017, Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Amazon, and Verizon raked in a combined $16 billion in tax breaks in 2018.

"The key takeaway from this study is that the 2017 tax law is working out well for profitable corporations, which are paying some of the lowest tax rates that ITEP has recorded in the nearly 40 years it has been examining corporate taxes," said Gardner.

"By enacting a law that dramatically reduced corporate tax collections, lawmakers weakened the nation's ability to adequately fund critical priorities," Gardner added. "Lawmakers will have to stop kowtowing to special interests and pretending that raising revenue doesn't matter."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Rights Groups Rip NYC Mayor Over Forced Hospitalizations for Mental Illness

"Forcing people into treatment is a failed strategy," said the head of the NYCLU. "With no real plan for housing, services, or supports, the administration is choosing handcuffs and coercion."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Finally, Some Justice': Fracking Company to Pay Millions for Poisoning Town's Water

"This case proves once and for all that drilling and fracking contaminated our drinking water," said one Dimock, Pennsylvania resident.

Kenny Stancil ·


Lame-Duck Dems Must Lift Debt Limit, Advocates Say as GOP Doubles Down on Social Security Threats

"Democrats must do whatever it takes to defeat Republican attacks on our earned Social Security benefits," said one advocate. "That means raising the debt ceiling this year, before Republicans take control of the House."

Julia Conley ·


'Put Up or Shut Up,' Says Sanders as Progressives Move to Add 7 Sick Days to Railway Deal

"If you can't vote for this," said the independent Vermont senator, "don't tell anybody that you stand with working families."

Jon Queally ·


'Love Wins Again': Senate Passes Bill to Protect Same-Sex and Interracial Marriage

"While Congress has taken an important step," said the head of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, "it is incumbent on all of us to continue to push for passage of the comprehensive Equality Act."

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo