3 of 5
Chevron: $8 billion
Chevron: $8 billion
U.S. federal: -$19 million
U.S. state and local: $230 million
International: $7.8 billion

Some businesses save money on taxes by logging their biggest profits in low-tax countries. But like Exxon, Chevron has little choice about where it can extract oil. Thanks to the billions it sends overseas, Chevron faced an effective income tax rate of 43% last year.

It's perfectly reasonable, under the tax code, for a company with multinational operations to reduce its U.S. tax bill to $0, said Eric Toder, an institute fellow at the Tax Policy Center.

"In order to avoid having profits taxed in two locations, the host country gets the first bite of the profits," he said.

Think U.S. companies should be paying the U.S. government first? Take it up with lawmakers, not the oil companies.

"There are not as many loopholes in the corporate tax code as people think, and there are legitimate reasons for which these companies pay as much or as little as they do," said Scott Hodge, president of the Tax Foundation. "If anybody complains, they should not blame the companies, they should blame Congress -- they wrote the tax code.

NEXT: General Electric: -$1.1 billion

Last updated April 16 2010: 2:06 PM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
Top 50 Wal-Mart knocks Exxon Mobil out of the No. 1 slot to rule the Fortune 500 again. More
They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 200 openings each. More
20 most profitable Fortune 500 earnings soared. From Exxon to Goldman, here are the biggest winners. More
Special Offer

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.