Large corporations like Wells Fargo and General Electric pay no taxes. This is accomplished with teams of experts who know how to exploit the exceptions and loopholes in the U.S. tax code (many of them used to work for the IRS and the Treasury). Among the loopholes: Multinational companies don’t have to pay U.S. income taxes on overseas profits until they are transferred back. Companies just leave their profits in overseas tax havens. Corporations can write off punitive damages as a business expense. Exxon’s $1.1 billion Alaska oil spill settlement actually cost the company $524 million after taxes. NASCAR racetrack owners can deduct the depreciation of their tracks over a seven-year period instead of the 39-year government estimate. This break was put in place in 2004, but renewed in the bailout in 2008.
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