Corporate Channels

Corporate Tax Rate Report

Which companies are paying the highest, and lowest?

New market research from the consumer site wallethub.com looks at the current tax structure of U.S. corporations

With President Biden’s American Jobs Plan proposing increasing the corporate tax rate to 28%, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its latest Corporate Tax Rate Report and expert commentary. The report provides an in-depth analysis of the 2020 federal, state and international tax rates paid by the S&P 100 companies, the largest and most established businesses in the U.S.

Key Stats

  • The overall tax rate that S&P 100 companies pay is around 20 percent
  • S&P 100 companies pay roughly 44 percent lower rates on U.S. taxes than international taxes
  • Most tech companies, including Adobe, Inc., Oracle Corp. and Microsoft Corp., are still paying more than 3 percent lower rates abroad, continuing the trend from 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019
  • Nine S&P 100 companies, Wells Fargo & Co, Salesforce.com Inc., AbbVie Inc., Duke Energy Corp., Adobe Inc., Broadcom Inc., International Business Machines Corp., Medtronic Inc and General Electric Co., are actually paying a negative overall tax rate and are therefore due a discrete net tax benefit
  • The average S&P 100 company pays a 44 percent lower tax rate than the top 1 percent of consumers

For the full S&P 100 Tax Rate report, please visit here

Companies Paying the Highest Taxes
(Overall Tax Rate)
Companies Paying the Lowest Taxes
(Overall Tax Rate)
1. Gilead Sciences Inc. (94.67%)1. Wells Fargo & Co. (-1015.20%)
2. Booking Holdings Inc. (89.59%)2. Salesforce Inc. (-59.00%)
3. Kraft Heinz (64.95%)3. AbbVie Inc. (-36.02%)
4. Walgreen Boots Alliance Inc. (48.45%)4. Duke Energy Corp. (-28.13%)
5. Dow Inc. (37.52%)5. Adobe Inc. (-25.96%)
6. Mondelez International Inc. (36.18%)6. Broadcom Inc. (-21.20%)
7. Altria Group Inc. (35.36%)7. International Business Machines Corp. (-18.63%)
8. Walmart Inc. (33.35%)8. Medtronic PLC (-18.52%)
9. United Parcel Service Inc. (27.17%)9. General Electric Co. (-9.12%)
10. American Express (27.03%)10. NVIDIA Corporation (1.75%)

Commentary On Tax Solutions: Two professors debate the current tax initiatives

Is the U.S. leaving money on the table with the current corporate tax structure?

“The U.S. does appear to be leaving some money on the table. It may be that the most significant issue is the perception that corporations receive special tax breaks. The average American cannot understand the complex tax system, but they can see that corporate tax rates are well below the top individual rates. Most professionals pay a higher marginal rate than does a corporation.”
Jim Hamill – Department Head: Accounting and Finance, Texas A&M University

“Yes. I do not even think one tax expert will dispute this statement. Our corporate tax system is outdated, too complicated, and full of different tax opportunities, especially for multinational corporations.”
Doron Narotzki – Associate Professor, University of Akron

What would you change about the way U.S. corporations are taxed?

“Our current corporate tax law was first introduced in 1909, which is over 100 years ago. Perhaps it is time to reconsider some of the fundamentals of it. For example, should we consider a version of a progressive corporate tax structure?”
Doron Narotzki – Associate Professor, University of Akron

The average American cannot understand the complex tax system, but they can see that corporate tax rates are well below the top individual rates...

“Within the contours of something like current law, I would change the source rules to be based more on where consumer sales occur, while also changing GILTI and the beat (two major provisions from the 2017 tax act) somewhat along the lines of the Biden administration’s Made in America Tax Plan. I would also consider broadening the corporate residence rules to define U.S. companies as those either incorporated or managed in the U.S.”
Daniel N. Shaviro – Professor, School of Law, New York University

Will increasing corporate taxes be a key solution for post-pandemic recovery?

“No…One consistent aspect of ending a recession is to get businesses to increase investment. The idea is that when businesses place orders with manufacturers, the manufacturers hire more workers to complete the orders. Thus, increasing investment simultaneously reduces unemployment and increases GDP…Simply increasing the corporate tax rate will only push corporations to engage more in tax-savings schemes.”
Doron Narotzki – Associate Professor, University of Akron

“It might help to fund the spending measures that are needed to help the post-pandemic recovery.”
Daniel N. Shaviro – Professor, School of Law, New York University