Many conservatives want to lower corporate taxes, claiming that our corporate tax rate is too high. But that’s just the statutory rate, before companies take advantage of various tax breaks.
In fact, a new study of 280 corporations in the Fortune 500 shows that the average tax rate they paid was 18.5%, just over half the statutory rate and more than the average middle class tax rate. 78 of those companies paid no taxes at all in at least one of the last three years. And 30 of them had a negative tax rate — the government gave them money — even though they had pre-tax profits of $160 billion.