A new study estimates that undocumented workers pay more than $11 billion a year in taxes (and would, of course, pay far more if they were given legal status and could come out of the shadow economy). ThinkProgress compares that to General Electric, which paid no taxes in 2010.
This past month, there was much outrage over the fact that General Electric, despite making $14.2 billion in profits, paid zero U.S. taxes in 2010. General Electric actually received tax credits of $3.2 billion from American taxpayers.
At the same time that General Electric was not paying taxes, many undocumented immigrants, who are typically accused of taking advantage of the system while not contributing to it by many on the right, paid $11.2 billion in taxes. A new study by the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy shows that undocumented immigrants paid $8.4 billion in sales taxes, $1.6 billion in property taxes, and $1.2 billion in personal income taxes last year. The study also estimates that nearly half of all undocumented immigrants pay income taxes.
But it isn’t just General Electric. More than 10% of the Fortune 500 have managed to pay an effective tax rate of zero in the last few years, including Verizon, Metlife, News Corp, and Seagate.