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A look at the wide range of corporate U.S. tax rates

The ability of some major U.S. corporations to avoid domestic taxes by setting up subsidiaries in offshore tax haven countries has gotten a lot of attention of late.

But not every company can pull that off.

A recent New York Times analysis found that for every Apple, with its 14 percent tax rate on $135 billion in earnings (that comes to a tax bill of just less than $19 billion), there's a KeyCorp, with its 150 percent effective tax rate on $1.33 billion in earnings, resulting in $1.99 billion taxes paid.

The newspaper put the corporate tax data into a nifty interactive tool. The bubbles in the image below give you an idea of the range of corporate taxes paid in the United States.

New York Times interactive look at corporate tax rates

Click on the image to go to the Times' website where you can take advantage of the various comparison options, such rolling over the bubbles for pop-up information or searching for a specific company or industry.

When the newspaper's researchers combined earnings and taxes for all S&P 500 companies, they found that the overall effective corporate tax rate was 29.1 percent. That's this week's By the Numbers figure.

Not all escape taxes: But, to paraphrase the popular saying, each company's tax mileage varies.

The differences are particularly notable in the hefty Internal Revenue Service bills paid by three big energy firms.

Exxon handed Uncle Sam $146 billion in taxes on the $395 billion it made, giving it a 37 percent effective tax rate.

Chevron's $85.5 billion tax bill on $220 billion in earnings resulted in a 39 percent tax rate.

And ConocoPhillips had a $58 billion tax bill on almost $79 billion in earnings, for an effective tax rate of 74 percent.

The disparities in the companies' tax situations make very clear the difficulties lawmakers face in trying to enact any type of corporate tax reform.

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