Exxon paid the most taxes last year of any U.S. company, by far -- but not a cent went to the IRS for income taxes. That's because the oil giant does business in some of the mostly highly taxed countries in the world. Want to extract petroleum in Nigeria? Be prepared to fork over up to 85% of your profit in tax payments.
Exxon doled out more than $15 billion in income tax payments to foreign countries last year. U.S. tax codes allow companies to take massive deductions in light of those international charges, which knocked Exxon's federal income-tax bill down into negative territory.
That said, Uncle Sam gets his money in other ways. Including sales taxes and duties, Exxon recorded $7.7 billion in U.S. tax costs last year, and paid even more overseas.
Its grand total in global taxes for the year? A whopping $78.6 billion. The company's effective income tax rate was a hefty 47%, its highest in three years.
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