What does it *mean* for a corporation to evade taxes?
March 28, 2012 8:10 AM Subscribe
I have a question that I feel stupid asking, but I don't know how more elegantly to put this: what does it *mean* for a corporation to not pay its taxes? What exact taxes are being bailed on?
posted by Ash3000 to Law & Government (21 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I do political organizing for generally progressive causes, and while it's in a completely different policy area than corporate tax-dodging, it certainly couldn't hurt my work to more fully understand what is actually happening when a corporation dodges its taxes. I've read most of the stuff about the obscene results (e.g. GE paying an effective negative tax rate for years on end) - but I guess what I'm not understanding can be boiled down questions like:
- When right-wingers say "Corporations don't pay taxes, people do," what does that actually mean?
- When a corporation pays taxes, what is being taxed? The profit left over after contracted salaries have been paid? A certain share of profit before income is calculated? Are we talking about the overall collective income taxes of employees, similar to how, before Citizens United, for a corporation to "give money" to a candidate referred to its employees collectively making donations? Am I completely misreading this?
- I can understand how individuals can avoid taxes through shelters and other trickery - but how does that actually work for a corporation qua corporation?
Thanks for your help on this, and sorry if this is still vague - I just realized I've read probably dozens of articles and blog posts on corporate tax-dodging, and still have an extremely facile understanding of what exactly that phrase indicates.