Its 10-K estimates its federal income tax liability at $-22.176 for 2018 — hence ITEP’s conclusion that it won’t pay the government any money for the year.
“When I say they paid zero, really what I mean is they reported a $22 million income tax rebate, so they have a negative income tax,” Gardner said.
Netflix’s number is just an estimate. “We don’t have access to their actual corporate tax returns so we can never know precisely and fully what they are doing,” he said. “But based on the limited disclosures they are required to make in annual reports, it seems pretty clear that they are relying on distinct tax breaks, all of them clearly legal,” Gardner said.