Corporations: "Tax-es? What Are These Things You Call Tax-es?"

Hope you enjoyed your tax burden this year, because you’re helping carry the weight of loophole-savvy corporations that enjoy many of the legal benefits of real, live human citizens, but exist in a weird, semi-tax-free world.

A 2004 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) study found that 61% of American corporations, including 39% of large companies, paid no corporate income taxes between 1996 and 2000. Last year, corporations shouldered just 14.4% of the total U.S. tax burden, compared with about 50% in 1940.

Stats from the Congressional Budget Office show a trend toward individual citizens paying more in the years to come, and corporate “citizens” paying even less:

The tax burden on individuals is expected to climb from $1.16 trillion in 2007 to $1.21 trillion this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), while corporate tax receipts are expected to decline from $370 billion to $364 billion. By 2013, the CBO estimates, ordinary taxpayers’ bills may climb to $1.86 trillion while corporate tax bills drop to $327 billion.

“Are You Paying For Corporate Fat Cats?” [Parade] (Thanks to Michael!)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.