How corporations avoid paying income taxes

With all the talk about how companies like General Electric and Cisco pay no or very low U.S. taxes, reader Hal Helfan of Oakland wants to know why can’t there be an alternative minimum tax for corporations like there is for individuals, to make sure that companies can’t use loopholes to wipe out their tax burden.

“If the AMT rate were set appropriately, it would probably be easier to lower the corporate tax rate and would definitely be a boon to small corporations that don’t get much benefit from tax credits,” he writes.

In fact there is a corporate AMT, and it works very much like the individual AMT.

Corporations figure their tax under the regular system, which taxes corporate profits at a top rate of 35 percent. Then they figure it under the AMT system, which tosses out some deductions allowed under the regular system, and taxes the resulting profit at 20 percent. The corporation then pays whichever tax is higher.

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I wear many hats but history, economics and political observance have always been a passion. I am a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Business with a degree in Information Systems and Digital Business with a minor in European History. I work for a small mom-and-pop IT consulting and software design company. We deal in servicing mostly government funded non-profit mental and behavioral health care agencies in the state of Ohio. In this I deal with Medicaid and Medicare funds and have a little insight on the boondoggles of government there. Thankfully the undemanding nature of my daily profession gives me ample time to read and stay aware of our current state of affairs which I find stranger than fiction in many instances. In addition to being in the IT field, I have also been self employed with a small contracting company so I might know a thing or two about the plight of small business that employs 71% of the American workforce. I however don't draw my knowledge from my day jobs, which I have had a few; I draw it from an intense obsession with facts and observation about the world in which I live. I do have formal education in things such as history, economics and finance particularly as it pertains to global issues, but I have come to find much of what I thought I knew from the formalities of a state university I had to unlearn through much time and independent research. I hope you enjoy what I bring you which is not often heard in the mainstream news outlets. I would like to think my own personal editorializing is not only edifying but thought provoking while not at all obnoxious. That last one may be a hard to achieve.

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