Corporations are setting aside more money in their reserves for uncertain tax positions than they are actually paying to the federal government, according to a new study.
The study, by the Ferraro Law Firm, which specializes in IRS whistleblower cases, examined the annual SEC disclosures of Fortune 500 companies. The firm found that collectively Fortune 500 companies have set aside $187.5 billion in their reserves, outstripping the $181 billion in total U.S. corporate income tax that the Treasury Department said was actually paid last year by all corporations. The Ferraro Law Firm compiles an annual "Ferraro 500" list, which is a reorganization of the Fortune 500 by the size of the companies' Unrecognized Tax Benefit reserve. The tax reserves of the top five companies are Pfizer, which set aside $7.309 billion to cover potential taxes; J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., $7.189 billion; Microsoft, $6.935 billion; General Electric, $6.384 billion; and AT&T, with $5.853 billion.
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