Twenty-six big U.S. companies, including AT&T, Boeing and Citigroup, paid their CEOs more last year than they paid the federal government in tax, according to a study prepared by the Institute for Policy Studies.
Major companies paid less or no taxes on profits, as they took advantage of the tax deductions and credits designed to free up money for companies to spend in ways that stimulate the economy.
On average, these 26 companies generated pre-tax net income of more than $1 billion in the US, the study revealed. Meanwhile CEOs of these 26 firms received on average $20.4 million in total remuneration last year, 23% more than in 2010.
CEO of Boeing James McNerney Jr. got $18.4 million in pay last year while his company received a tax refund of $605 million. The study also laid into Citigroup for paying CEO Vikram Pandit $14.9 million while the bank received $144 million in net tax benefits.
According to the study, the US corporate tax code allows companies to pay big bonuses to executives so they can cut their tax bills while the Treasury gets less money in a time, when the national economy has a trillion debt burden. "Our nation's tax code has become a powerful enabler of bloated CEO pay," the report said.