Here from a couple days ago is some news some may find easy to unlike. According to the group Citizens for Tax Justice:
Facebook is reporting a $429 million net tax refund from the federal and state treasuries. And it’s not because they weren’t profitable.
And just how profitable were they? Well Facebook reported almost $1.1 billion in profits in 2012. However, by giving non-cash stock options as compensation to executives, the company can deduct $429 million from its profits – as if the options were cash payments, like a salary.
That tax break reduced Facebook’s federal and state income taxes by $1,033 million [$1.033 billion in US terms] in 2012, including refunds of earlier years’ taxes of $451 million.
Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg currently owns 29.3 percent of the company’s shares. This gives him approximately $16.9 billion in stock-based wealth.
Facebook is not unlike other corporations the CTJ has a report on: over a hundred large corporations exploit this tax loophole. But after the publicity surrounding Facebook the movie, and the real-life drama over Facebook the IPO, this tax-shift may get a little extra attention. Senator Carl Levin has taken steps to close off these excessive corporate tax loopholes. His effort is called the Cut Unjustified Tax Loopholes Act, and it may get a little publicity boost from the CTJ report.
But for the time being at least, Facebook remains remarkably unburdened by certain taxes. So what’s not to unlike about that? And for those who are wondering, both Citizens for Tax Justice and Senator Levin can be found on Facebook here and here. Be sure to “like” their pages.