Corporate tax reform

Trump's invisible tax cut

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The U.S. tax system does one thing right: It collects taxes in a very smart way.

How it works: Workers have taxes automatically withheld from every paycheck, and the withholdings are generally slightly higher than the expected tax owed. After the worker files their tax return, they receive a refund check for the amount that was overpaid in the previous year. About 75% of taxpayers receive a refund each year.

Analysts are scaling back their corporate profit predictions

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

After predicting eye-popping 11% first quarter profit growth for S&P 500 companies last year, analysts have massively scaled back expectations to the tune of roughly $16 billion in profits. They are now predicting the first year-over-year decline in 3 years.

Why it matters: Those lofty expectations had been set as recently as March and have come down drastically since, with some now predicting an "earnings recession" — negative earnings growth in the first two quarters of the year.

More stories loading.