While many Georgians may owe Uncle Sam and state government more taxes this year and others will be getting back what they overpaid, the debts and refunds will pale in comparison to the billions U.S. corporations pay out or get back annually.
WalletHub, a personal-finance social network providing financial tools and information, recently released its S&P 100 Tax Rate Report showing the state, federal and international tax rates paid by the largest companies on the S&P 500 for the 2012 tax year.
The four Georgia-based companies on the list are Sandy Springs-based package deliverer UPS, Atlanta-based soft drink giant Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta-based utility owner Southern Co. and Atlanta-based home improvement retailer Home Depot.
An AJC review of corporate taxes several years ago showed corporate giants pay widely varying federal taxes under a murky system that allows companies to reap tax benefits from mergers, overseas expansions and other moves.
Some highly profitable companies pay federal income taxes significantly below the top corporate income tax rate of 35 percent. Sometimes the rate is lower than the one for the typical middle-class family, while in other cases the rate is zero.
In the Wallet Hub report, the overall tax rates for two of the local companies, UPS and Coca-Cola, were below the 26.9 percent overall average for the top S&P 100, while the overall rates for Southern and Home Depot were above the average rate.
To produce its report, Wallet Hub said it determined effective and deferred tax rates for each business using 2012 data on company profits, withholding practices and paid state, federal and international taxes.
Among other findings:
• Companies with the highest overall tax rates were: General Dynamics (161.4%); Facebook (89.3%); Amazon.com (78.7%); Apache (59%); and ConocoPhillips (51.5%).
• Companies with the lowest overall tax rates were Abbot Laboratories (-89.8%); Morgan Stanley (-45.6%); Bank of America (-36.3 %) AIG (-27.9%); and Bristol-Myers Squibb (-6.8%).
4 Georgia companies’ tax rates
2012 Overall Tax Rate
2012 State Tax Rate
2012 Federal Tax Rate
2012 International Tax Rate
*Among top S&P 100