January 13, 2023

Wyden, Sanders: New GAO Report Shows Corporate Windfall from 2017 Republican Tax Law

Report Shows 40 Percent Drop in Effective Corporate Tax Rates in 2018, with One in Three Profitable Corporations Paying Zero

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., today issued the following statements on a new analysis from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) showing the 2017 Trump tax law’s immediate tax breaks for large, profitable corporations. GAO found that in the first year after the law went into effect: 

  • The effective tax rate for profitable corporations was just 8.9 percent, a 40 percent drop from the prior year.
  • 34 percent of profitable corporations paid zero in taxes, a 25 percent increase from the prior year. 

“Republicans made it shockingly easy for profitable corporations to wave a magic wand and eliminate their tax liability. That’s why Democrats passed a new 15 percent minimum tax in the Inflation Reduction Act. Beginning to crack down on this obvious unfairness with a minimum tax is a policy the American people overwhelmingly support,” Wyden said. “Republicans clearly believe that their corporate tax handouts under Donald Trump didn’t go far enough, because once again they’re attempting to gut enforcement resources at the IRS and make it easier for big, profitable companies and the wealthy to skip out on paying what they legally owe. This gift for tax cheats was the first bill House Republicans passed with their new majority, but Senate Democrats won’t touch it. On this issue Senate Democrats are going to stand with working Americans and the middle class, who believe corporations and the wealthy must pay a fair share.”  

“While House Republicans want to make huge cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid because of their ‘serious concern’ about the deficit, they voted to provide over a trillion dollars in tax breaks to large corporations and the top one percent,” Sanders said. “The situation has become so absurd that over a third of the largest and most profitable corporations in our country pay nothing in federal income taxes. Instead of cutting vital and popular programs like Social Security and Medicare, we need to repeal the Trump tax breaks for the rich and demand that the largest corporations in America finally start paying their fair share of taxes.”

The GAO report is available here.


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