The 2009 income tax bills for America's biggest companies ranged from $0 to $15 billion. Here's why.
Before taxes, the world's largest retailer banked $22.1 billion in profit. After deductions and factoring in its international operations, the company still paid just under a third of that back in taxes to various governments.
The federal tax rate for corporations is 35%. Wal-Mart's effective income tax rate came in just under that, at 32.4%
It works the same way for individuals. Just as a person can lower his or her tax rate through deductions and credits, so too can major corporations, said Scott Hodge, president of the Tax Foundation.
But remember, income taxes aren't the only payments major companies make to the IRS. "Wal-Mart probably collects and pays more sales taxes than any other company on earth," Hodge said.
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