Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Facebook And Taxes

Do you know how much Facebook paid in federal and state income taxes in 2012?  Assuming this article has it right a total of zero dollars:

It’s good to be a corporation in America. Despite making $1.1 billion after going public last year, Facebook didn’t pay a dime in state or federal income taxes in 2012. Instead, thanks to the social media company’s use of a single tax break—the tax deductibility of executive stock options—it anticipates getting a massive refund from the government totaling $429 million.
I don't know if that $1.1 billion is profit or revenue.  But this is interesting information in any case.  It's like that saw about financial markets being too big to fail in that now firms can be too big to pay taxes.

But taxes are (ideally) the cost we pay for the infrastructure, the police, the firefighters, the public health services and so on.  They are the price of civilization, and watching large firms get away without paying their fair share also gnaws on the ties that bind us to each other.  Because the outcome is unfair.