What About Exxon's Extraordinary Taxes?
HOUSTON -- Exxon Mobil reported a profit of $45.2 billion for 2008, breaking its own record for a U.S. company, even as its fourth-quarter earnings fell 33% from a year ago. The previous record for annual profit was $40.6 billion, which the world's largest publicly traded oil company set in 2007. The extraordinary full-year profit wasn't a surprise given crude's triple-digit price for much of 2008, peaking near an unheard of $150 a barrel in July.
As usual, Exxon's "extraordinary" profits in 2008 will receive a lot of media attention, but what won't receive much attention is the "extraordinary" amount of taxes paid and collected by Exxon in 2008. According to Exxon's income statement, it paid $36.53 billion in 2008 income taxes, and its effective income tax rate increased to 47% from 44% in 2007. Exxon also reported $34.5 billion in sales-based taxes, and $45.2 billion in other taxes, for a total $116.2 billion taxes paid and collected in 2008 (see chart above).