America may have a lofty 35% corporate tax rate—but who actually pays that? A new study from a pair of left-leaning think tanks examined 280 Fortune 500 companies from 2008-2010, and found that their average effective rate was 18.5%, with a quarter paying less than 10% and 30 paying no taxes at all, despite being profitable, Reuters reports. Least taxed of all was Pepco Holdings, a DC power company with an effective rate of negative 57.6%.
The free-ride list also included Boeing, Wells Fargo, and, of course, General Electric, according to the New York Times; Wells Fargo wound up with a tax benefit of $651 million, despite $49 billion in profit. While all the tricks companies used to shrink their bills were legal, the report’s authors chided them anyway, noting that “the laws were not enacted in a vacuum; they were adopted in response to relentless corporate lobbying.” (Read more General Electric stories.)