(Keystone Graphic/Morgaine Ford-Workman) Four Pennsylvania-Based Companies Paid No Taxes
(Keystone Graphic/Morgaine Ford-Workman)

Four Pennsylvania-based companies had a combined total of $1.8 billion in 2020 profits, and avoided $379.3 million in combined taxes while they received $157 million in total rebates.

Fifty-five of the largest corporations in the country did not pay any federal taxes in 2020, according to a recent report. Of those, four are headquartered in Pennsylvania.

Howmet Aerospace, Lincoln National, PPL, and UGI paid no federal taxes in 2020 despite reporting substantial pretax profits. 

The 55 tax-avoiding companies enjoyed a combined total of almost $40.5 billion in pretax income in 2020, according to the report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The statutory federal tax rate is 21%. If the companies had paid that rate on their 2020 income, it would have come to a collective total of $8.5 billion. Instead, they received $3.5 billion in tax rebates.

Their total corporate tax breaks for 2020, including $8.5 billion in tax avoidance and $3.5 billion in rebates, comes to $12 billion.

The four Pennsylvania-based companies had a combined total of $1.8 billion in pretax income in 2020 and received a total of $157 million in rebates. If the companies had paid the 21% statutory federal tax rate, it would have come to a combined total of $379.3 million.

“People in Pennsylvania and all over the country suffer when corporations avoid paying taxes,” said Amy Hanauer, executive director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. “It means that we don’t have the resources to invest in things all of us need.”

Working families in the commonwealth struggle to pay for child care, Hanauer said. The taxes that companies avoided paying could more than pay for a year of childcare for every child under the age of 5 in Pennsylvania, she said. 

Tax resources could also be used to create green jobs, expand train and transit service, and reduce child poverty, Hanauer said.

“It’s time for Congress to close the loopholes and improve tax policy so that instead of avoiding taxes, all corporations contribute their fair share so we can have the kind of Pennsylvania and the kind of America that can afford what our people and our communities need,” she said.

Howmet Aerospace

Howmet Aerospace is based in Pittsburgh and makes engineered metal products. According to its website, its “engines, fasteners and structures for aerospace and defense, as well as our forged wheels, are transforming the aerospace and commercial transportation industries.”

In 2020, Howmet reported a pretax income of $86 million. Based on the 21% statutory federal tax rate, Howmet should have paid about $18 million in 2020 taxes.

Howmet instead received a federal tax rebate of $2 million.

Howmet representatives did not respond to email attempts for comment.

Lincoln National

Based in Radnor, which straddles Montgomery and Delaware counties, Lincoln National operates multiple insurance and investment management businesses through subsidiary companies. 

Lincoln National reported $423 million in pretax income in 2020. Using the statutory federal tax rate of 21%, Lincoln should have paid $88.8 million in 2020 taxes.

Lincoln instead received a federal tax rebate of $61 million.

A representative from the company said the pandemic impacted their tax liability in 2020 by providing millions of dollars in claims to their customers.

“Lincoln Financial Group complies with all federal tax laws and has historically made an annual federal tax payment,” said Scott Sloat, the company’s spokesman. 

PPL

PPL is an energy company headquartered in Allentown, Lehigh County. It currently delivers electricity to more than 10 million customers in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and the United Kingdom.

In 2020, PPL reported a pretax income of $878 million and should have paid $184 million in taxes based off the 21% rate.

PPL instead received a federal tax rebate of $9 million.

“PPL did not pay cash taxes in 2020 primarily because of prior federal tax policy that provided for, among other things, bonus depreciation intended to spur investment in prior years,” said company spokesman Ryan Hill. “In this regard, we are not unlike many of our utility peers.”

UGI

UGI is a natural gas and electric power distribution company based in King of Prussia, Montgomery County.

In 2020, UGI reported $420 million in pretax income and should have paid $88.2 million in taxes based off the 21% rate.

UGI instead received a federal tax rebate of $85 million.

A UGI spokesman did not provide a comment.