Study: Companies paid more to CEOs than in U.S. tax

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“Boeing supports a simpler, more competitive tax code. At the same time, we have put the R&D tax credit to exactly the use it was designed — creating U.S. jobs in a high-value, advanced technology industry,” he said in a statement.

The Institute for Policy Studies said Boeing would have spent the money on R&D without the credit.

In addition to performance-pay deductions and R&D credits, the report criticized the use of tax havens that allow technology companies, for instance, to assign intellectual-property rights to shell companies in the Cayman Islands, so they can run profits through them and avoid taxes. It noted that 26 companies have a combined 537 subsidiaries in tax-haven countries.

The study also cited accelerated depreciation on investments, which allows a company to take deductions for big-ticket purchases in one year, as opposed to over several years. That cuts taxes in the first year.

The study said AT&T used accelerated depreciation to save $5.2 billion on its 2011 taxes while paying CEO Randall Stephenson $18.7 million last year.

Sarah Lubman, an AT&T spokeswoman, said the point of accelerated depreciation is to encourage companies to make investments. She said AT&T made $20 billion in investments last year, helping to “drive the economy and support good-paying jobs.”

She also said that the deductions won’t be available to take in future years, which should increase taxes.

A Citigroup spokeswoman noted that the company lost money in 2008 and 2009 and used the losses to offset taxes on profits this year.

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