Top 3 U.S. Oil Companies Paid $42.8 Billion in Income Taxes in 2010

In commenting on the talks about deficit reduction and raising the federal debt limit, President Barack Obama said he wanted to eliminate tax deductions for oil and gas companies “that are making hundreds of billions of dollars.” However, he did not mention that the top three U.S. oil companies alone paid $42.8 billion in income taxes in 2010, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

At his June 29 press conference at the White House, Obama said, “There’s been a lot of discussion about revenues and raising taxes in recent weeks, so I want to be clear about what we’re proposing here. I spent the last two years cutting taxes for ordinary Americans, and I want to extend those middle-class tax cuts. The tax cuts I’m proposing we get rid of are tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, tax breaks for oil companies and hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners.”

“*f if we choose to keep tax breaks for oil and gas companies that are making hundreds of billions of dollars, then that means we’ve got to cut some kids off from getting a college scholarship,” said Obama. “I think it’s only fair to ask an oil company or a corporate jet owner that has done so well to give up a tax break that no other business enjoys.”

The top three oil companies in the United States are ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and Chevron. According to the SEC filings of those companies, as analyzed by Forbes, ExxonMobil’s pretax income in 2010 was $52 billion, from which it paid $21.6 billion in income taxes worldwide, leaving a net income of $30.5 billion. That equals a tax rate of 45 percent, which is 10 percent above the statutory corporate rate of 35 percent.*

Meanwhile GE (a huge Obama contributor) made over 5 billion in pretax income in US profits yet had NO TAX LIABILITY last year.


A jobs comparison would be interesting.

I know guys in the oil field handed 6 figure jobs with a high school diploma whereas GE has been laying Americans off left and right.

:rotfl::rotfl: That sounds like government Intelligence …wait…that’s an oxymoron :D:D

They call that “creative accounting”.

The article does a good job of pointing out what these oil companies pay in taxes “worldwide” but how much of that is in US taxes? The answer is; not much. ConocoPhillips, for example, paid $1.3 billion in US taxes in 2010 according to page 125 of their Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Neither ExxonMobile or Chevron paid a cent to the IRS in 2009. What the Forbes geniuses chose to ignore about the SEC filings of these companies is that the vast majority of tax payments cited were foreign and listed as such in their filings. Obama is right. It isn’t appropriate that an average American citizen pays either more in taxes, in the case of Exxon and Chevron, or is taxed at a higher rate, in the case of ConcoPhillips, than these multi-billion dollar corporations.

Let’s have the oil companies pay more taxes. That results in consumers paying more at the pump. Gas prices are a tax on consumers.

Or we could go on pretending that zero tax liability is acceptable.

It is for over 40% of income tax filers now. The bottom 40% pay no income tax, while the the top 25% pay 87% of the reported revenues. The oil companies receive the same corporate tax deductions as any other corporation in America. Fair is fair.

Maybe you should read this…

What the financial statement says is that ExxonMobil, in 2009, after a handful of deferrals, recorded a total U.S. income tax benefit (i.e., a refund) of $46 million. Next to this, it shows total non-U.S. income taxes of $15.165 billion.

My mistake was in thinking that these figures somehow reflected actual tax benefits and liabilities. **So what we should have written was that ExxonMobil “recorded” no U.S. income taxes for 2009 instead of “paid.” All you re-bloggers out there, please note the clarification. Mea culpa.

And for all you commenters outraged that Exxon isn’t paying taxes in the U.S., don’t worry, it is. Our article only focused on income taxes, but it’s worth noting that the 10-k also records $7.7 billion in other taxes in the U.S. (like sales taxes) and more than $50 billion of other taxes and duties paid (I mean recorded) overseas.

There’s a lingering issue here. If Exxon’s income tax line items don’t mean what they say, then what does that imply about other important stuff? Are “earnings after income taxes,” really $19.28 billion? Are earnings per share really $3.99? Does it all wash out? We’ve asked Exxon to explain and will let you know what they say.**

1.3 BILLION isn’t much? Are you by any chance a budget advisor to Obama?

Even if Oil companies weren’t paying a lot of taxes in the US that isn’t their fault. Its up to the politicians and legislators to make sure that tax rules are such that they can get their fair share.

Now it should be said that I am not saying that Oil companies aren’t paying their fair share but its like the police complaining that criminals aren’t turning themselves in when they are too lazy or too stupid to do their job.

The stupidest things I see always involve politicians and when politicians complain about how little big corporations pay or don’t pay, I say that they are too stupid for the job and need intelligent people!

You sound like a govment employee saying “I’m here to hep you”.

So the article is based on misleading numbers and statistics. Why am I not surprised?

From what I understand, it’s hard to tell from the reports their using, what they paid and to whom.

Exxon told Forbes that they do indeed pay Federal taxes, they are just not required to say how much.

I know there are a lot of marginal oil well owners around here whose wells make less than 10 barrels of oil per day per well. Those owners do pay income taxes and it is a considerable amount considering they also have to split their income amongst mineral rights owners plus they take a hit for the type of oil as well. Usually Oklahoma crude is about 10 dollars less per barrel than what you see it on the commodities market.

Awww. . . . Poor poor oil companies. . . . :(:(:rolleyes:

What is a “marginal” oil well owner? (Just curious). Sounds like the owners you know about are paying more taxes than Exxon.

Is this quote from the article?

And for all you commenters outraged that Exxon isn’t paying taxes in the U.S., don’t worry, it is. Our article only focused on income taxes, but it’s worth noting that the 10-k also records $7.7 billion in other taxes in the U.S. (like sales taxes) and more than $50 billion of other taxes and duties paid (I mean recorded) overseas.

Funny how the same argument about paying taxes in the U.S. is never made to suggest the “bottom 40%” pay taxes too. For example:

So only paying sales taxes in the U.S. is justifiable if you are Exxon, but not if you are in the bottom 40%. That sounds like a double standard to me.

bellasbane- I like your signature quote!

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