ExxonMobil Makes $41 Billion, But Pays Estimated 17.6% Tax Rate, Lower Than Most Taxpayers (But Not Romney)

ExxonMobil had the largest profits of the Big Five oil companies in 2011, raking in $41.1 billion for the year. This 35 percent jump from last year is driven in large part by record-high oil prices. Today, the oil giant announced its fourth quarter profits of $9.4 billion, a 2 percent increase since 2010. Here are a few other facts about ExxonMobil:

• Exxon’s $41.1 billion in 2011 profit translates into nearly $5 million in profit every hour, or more than $1,300 every second. The annual profit comes near the record revenues of $46.23 billion in 2008.

• Stock buybacks for Q4 were $5.4 billion, and $ 21.60 billion for the year, equivalent to 53 percent of total 2011 profit. This enriches executives, the board of directors, and largest shareholders.

• Exxon pays a lower tax rate than the average American. Between 2008-2010, Exxon Mobil registered an average 17.6 percent federal effective corporate tax rate, while the average American paid a higher rate of 20.4 percent.  [In 2010, Mitt Romney paid an effective tax rate of 13.9%.]

• The company paid no taxes to the U.S. federal government in 2009, despite 45.2 billion record profits. It paid $15 billion in taxes, but none in federal income tax.

• The oil giant uses offshore subsidiaries in the Caribbean to avoid paying taxes in the United States.

• Exxon is sitting on $11 billion cash on hand as of September 30.

• Exxon spent nearly $13 million on lobbying expenditures in 2011. The company gave nearly another $900,000 in federal campaign contributions. 92 percent of contributions went to Republicans.

• Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson made $29 million in 2010 (according to the latest records): He made $2.2 million in salary, a $3.4 million bonus, and stock awards valued at $15.5 million.

• Exxon is drawing out a legal battle for damages on a spill from 22 years ago. Exxon hasn’t paid $92 million in cleanup for the devastating Valdez Alaskan oil spill. In its Sept. 30 court filing, Exxon argued the damages it agreed to pay only covers “restoration” and not additional “clean-up.”

• Far from a job creator, ExxonMobil — together with Chevron, Shell, and BP — reduced their U.S. workforce by 11,200 employees between 2005 and 2010.

9 Responses to ExxonMobil Makes $41 Billion, But Pays Estimated 17.6% Tax Rate, Lower Than Most Taxpayers (But Not Romney)

  1. prokaryotes says:

    Check out facts & figures about American oil + gas development on western lands

  2. rusty2000 says:

    Awesome. Good job Exxon!

  3. Ken Barrows says:

    To keep things in perspective, I shall point out again that ExxonMobil’s profit per dollar of revenue is much lower than many companies, Microsoft for one. Of course, profits will be huge; the world consumes tens of millions of barrels per day. Because oil is more valuable (at this point) to our survival than new software, perhaps time spent harping about oil company profits could be better deployed elsewhere.

  4. prokaryotes says:

    You mean harping about this

    It doesn’t matter, we’re Exxon-Mobil

    or this maybe..

    Oil – combustion of it’s products, is threatening the survival of the human species.

  5. IANVS says:


    How is the 17.6% estimated tax rate derived?


  6. sailrick says:

    “The annual profit comes near the record revenues of $46.23 billion in 2008.”

    That should read – profit comes near record profits or net income, not revenue, which is sales.

  7. I wonder why Exxon isn’t spending more of its profits to try to find more oil? I mean at $100 per barrel you would think arch-capitalists would try to sell as much of the stuff as possible.

    Oh, right…silly question.

  8. Ken Barrows says:


    I agree that oil extraction should decrease. But, right now, Exxon provides the world’s most important product. So complaining about its profit doesn’t make sense. Enacting policies to decrease its product (and put it out of business eventually) are okay.

  9. Ken Barrows says:


    What is the trend in Exxon’s capital expenditures? Or rig counts? Maybe spending more on exploration just isn’t very profitable.