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President Trump on Dec. 13. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

91 Fortune 500 companies paid no federal income taxes on their U.S. income last year, according to a report released Monday by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

Why it matters: Some of the companies that paid no federal income tax last year still made billions of dollars — and they include some of the country's biggest names, like Amazon, Chevron, Halliburton and IBM.

The big picture: The 379 profitable members of the Fortune 500 paid an effective federal tax rate of 11.3% last year — almost half of the 21% corporate rate established under President Trump's 2017 tax revamp.

  • That effective rate was the lowest since the organization began publishing its corporate tax studies in 1984.
  • Large companies were able to pay lower rates through a combination of deductions, tax breaks and other loopholes.
  • Had those companies paid the statutory 21% rate on their profits, they would have collectively owed the federal government an additional $73.9 billion.

The state of play: Despite strong economic growth, the federal deficit is soaring. In the first 11 months of fiscal year 2019, it exceeded $1 trillion and has already hit $342 billion for the first two months of 2020's fiscal year.

  • The lower corporate tax rate isn't the sole driver of the deficit, but it certainly contributes. Corporate tax revenue dropped from about $297 billion in 2017 to $204 billion in 2018.

Go deeper: Tax cuts could be a curse for U.S. companies

Go deeper

Biden says he'll make Supreme Court pick by end of February

President Biden speaks on the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Thursday said he will announce the nominee for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's replacement by the end of February.

Driving the news: Biden also affirmed that he will nominate a Black woman to replace Breyer, saying "it's long overdue."

Stephen Breyer formally announces retirement from Supreme Court

Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP

Justice Stephen Breyer on Thursday sent a letter to President Biden formally announcing his retirement from the Supreme Court.

State of play: Breyer said his retirement will take effect when the court "rises for the summer recess (typically late June or early July) assuming that by then my successor has been nominated and confirmed."

COVID created an epic U.S. trade gap

Chart: Axios Visuals. Data: Census Bureau/Bureau of Economic Analysis

The details of the blockbuster fourth quarter GDP report released Thursday morning tell a vivid story of how the underpinnings of the world economy have been reshaped by the pandemic.

One example: In the arithmetic around U.S. economic output, trade acted as a more severe drag last year than it has in a generation.