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9 CEOs Who Made More Than Their Company’s Tax Bill

Executive Excess

The nation continues to be plagued by economic woes, but CEOs at top U.S. corporations aren’t exactly feeling the sting. A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies found that 25 of the 100 highest-paid CEOs made more than their companies paid in taxes in 2010.

“These 25 companies are extreme examples of how large corporations can get away with picking Uncle Sam’s pocket,” Scott Klinger, IPS associate fellow and co-author of the report, said in a written statement. “And while the CEOs clearly benefit, working- and middle-class families and small businesses are left to pick up the tab.”

The IPS explained that these global companies either avoid high tax bills or net large refunds through tax breaks or the use of offshore accounts. CEO compensation includes salary as well as the value of stocks and options awarded during the course of the year.

Here’s a look into the report’s analysis of 10 companies with CEOs whose paychecks were bigger than the ones their companies sent to Uncle Sam.

Photo Credit: aresauburn

John Strangfeld, Prudential

CEO Compensation: $17.2 million

2010 Federal Income Taxes: $722 million refund

According to the report, financial service provider Prudential (Stock Quote: PRU) netted a majority of its refund from investments in low-income housing  and other tax-creditable activity.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg News

Jeff Immelt, General Electric

CEO Compensation: $15.2 million

2010 Federal Income Taxes: $3.3 billion refund

General Electric (Stock Quote: GE), the most profitable firm on the  IPS list, ranked 14th nationwide for overall profitability in 2010, netting $11.6 billion in global profits last year. IPS notes that GE also spent the most on lobbying and political campaign spending, investing $41.8 billion in its political influence last year.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg News

Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon

CEO Compensation: $18.1 million

2010 Federal Income Taxes: $705 million refund

Wireless provider Verizon (Stock Quote: VZ) received the highest tax refund of the 25 companies on IPS’s list, despite earning $11.9 billion in pre-tax U.S. profits. IPS also called the wireless provider out for announcing 13,000 job cuts in 2010, the year’s third-highest corporate layoff total.

Seidenberg, still the chairman of the board at Verizon, stepped down as CEO in August 2011. He was succeeded by former Verizon COO Lowell McAdam.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg News

Robert Kelly, Bank of New York Mellon

CEO Compensation: $19.4 million

2010 Federal Income Taxes: $670 million refund

Bank of New York Mellon (Stock Quote: BK) claimed a $670 refund, despite netting $2.4 billion in profits in 2010, IPS says. The report also notes that the bank spent $1.4 million on lobbying during the year.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg News

Jim McNerney, Boeing

CEO Compensation: $13.8 million

2010 Federal Income Taxes: $13 million

According to IPS, aircraft manufacturer Boeing (Stock Quote: BA) has consistently ranked high among companies that pay the least in taxes, largely thanks to tax incentives at both the state and federal levels, but it was one of the few on the list that did not receive a refund in 2010. The report cites that Boeing did pocket a net tax refund of $137 million from states and localities, though.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg News

Brian Duperreault, Marsh and McLennan

CEO Compensation: $14 million

2010 Federal Income Taxes: $90 million refund

IPS credits Marsh and McLennan’s (Stock Quote:  MMC) high tax refund to its equally high number of offshore accounts. According to the report, the insurance giant has 105 registered subsidiaries in 20 different countries, 25 of which are registered in Bermuda, which levies no corporate income tax.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg News

John Lundgren, Stanley Black & Decker

CEO Compensation: $32.6 million

2010 Federal Income Taxes: $75 million refund

Lundgren was the highest-paid CEO on the IPS’s list, netting $32.6 million last year largely through the $25 million he received in stock awards that were part of special incentive package designed to ensure the success of the March 2010 merger of Stanley Works and Black & Decker, which the report notes will likely result in 4,000 layoffs and the relocation of some manufacturing to Mexico.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg News

Aubrey McClendon, Chesapeake Energy

CEO Compensation: $21 million

2010 Federal Income Taxes: $0

According to the IPS report, Chesapeake Energy (Stock Quote: CHK), the second largest U.S. producer of natural gas, keeps its tax bill down through tax breaks designed to bolster domestic energy production.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg News

John Donahoe, eBay

CEO Compensation: $12.4 million

2010 Federal Income Taxes: $131 million refund

Online commerce giant eBay (Stock Quote: EBAY ) received a $131 million tax refund last year, despite posting $848 million in U.S. profits. The IPS report cites that the company has 31 subsidiaries in nine countries considered tax havens.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg News

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