Not Only Will Facebook Pay No ($0) Taxes for 2012, It Will Actually Get a Refund for $429 Million

I have no problem with Facebook. In fact I like Facebook. I use it personally to chat with interesting people from around the world every day. It makes my life better, which is what a product should do.

At ACC we consider Facebook a vital resource as well. Heck, we use Facebook as our main comments interface.

And generally speaking we are very much for anyone reducing their tax outlay to the legal minimum. More capital kept in the private sector the better.

But that Facebook will receive a tax refund of over $400 million is news.


You won’t find any $429 million tax refund in Facebook’s financial statements. Indeed, the company says it had a $559 million federal tax liability in 2012. But that liability isn’t an actual payment. In a footnote, the company also said that it had a $1.03 billion “excess tax benefit” last year related to “stock option exercises and other equity awards.” That benefit is what flips the federal tax liability into a refund. (A small portion is applied against state taxes.)

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