A dozen emerging technology companies, including Twitter and Facebook, have enough unused tax breaks for executive stock options to eliminate all income taxes on the next $11.4 billion of U.S. income they collectively earn, according to a new report, giving them a net federal tax cut of $4 billion.
The report, from the advocacy group Citizens for Tax Justice, follows up on an earlier report from CTJ showing that the tax break for executive stock options has saved Fortune 500 corporations such as Apple, Facebook, and J.P. Morgan Chase $27 billion over the past three years.
The new report focuses on technology companies such as Twitter, whose initial public offering is scheduled for this week, and Facebook, whose use of the stock option tax break enabled it to eliminate all income taxes on the $1 billion it earned in U.S. income last year, when it also did an IPO.
In the new report, CTJ noted that this year Facebook will probably be able to avoid paying any taxes on $6.2 billion of income it earned, while Priceline can anticipate paying no taxes on $900 million of income.
The cloud-computing company NetApp holds $484 million in unused deductions for stock options, according to the report, and given its current profit level, the company could avoid paying any income tax for more than two years.
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