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Facebook Pays Huge Taxes, Banks Get Big Breaks, AAPL Dodges Overseas

Tech stock Facebook (FB) and defense contractor General Dynamics (GD) paid the highest effective tax rate of the largest 100 S&P stocks in tax year 2012, with whopping 89% and 161% effective tax rates, respectively, according to a recent report by financial website WalletHub.

fb-stock-facebookMeanwhile, a number of big bank stocks including Morgan Stanley (MS), Bank of America (BAC) and AIG (AIG) got off scot-free with a negative tax burden thanks to big breaks from Uncle Sam.

That means these big bank stocks actually were due a refund instead of a tax bill.

You can view highlights of the report here on WalletHub — which, it’s worth noting, is based on tax data from 2012, not 2013. After all, today is the deadline for most Americans to file their tax returns, so it’s hard to compile last year’s data quickly. 

Some items of note include:

  • The rate of S&P 100 companies’ international taxes is about 30% less than U.S. taxes.
  • Tech companies — including Apple (AAPL), eBay (EBAY) and Google (GOOG) — pay roughly 80% lower rates abroad than in the U.S.
  • Six S&P 100 companies actually paid a negative overall tax rate (and thus got tax refunds) for 2012. In addition to BofA, MS and AIG, pharma stocks Abbott Laboratories (ABT) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) along with telecom Verizon (VZ) avoided taxes and got a check back from Uncle Sam.
  • The average overall tax rate for corporations in the S&P 100 was 26.9%.

WalletHub compiled 2012 data on company profits, withholding practices and tax payments on the state, federal and international levels to determine effective and deferred tax rates for each business. Check out the report here on WalletHub for more info.

Jeff Reeves is the editor of and the author of The Frugal Investor’s Guide to Finding Great Stocks. Write him at or follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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