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December 18, 2019

Report: Saint Vincent, MetroWest owner paid no federal income taxes

Photo | Grant Welker Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester

The Texas-based owner of Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester and MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham paid no federal income tax in 2018, according to a report Monday by the Institution on Taxation and Economic Policy.

In fact, Tenet Healthcare was given a refund of $6 million, according to the Washington, D.C.,-based nonprofit, non-partisan tax policy organization. Its profits were $251 million.

Tenet contested the report's findings in a statement.

"Based on U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, our 2018 pre-tax income was $639 million and our income tax expense was $176 million – an effective tax rate of 27.5%," the company said.

The for-profit company runs 65 acute-care hospitals nationwide. Saint Vincent brought in $72.2 million in profit in fiscal 2018 and has regularly run profits in the tens of millions, according to the Massachusetts Center for Health Information and Analysis. MetroWest Medical Center recorded a $4.8-million profit.

Tenet was one of nearly 100 companies highlighted by the Institution on Taxation and Economic Policy in a report that was called out on the campaign trail by Democratic candidate Joe Biden. The report highlights a lighter tax burden on corporations following the 2017 federal tax law change, with candidates including Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders calling for large corporations to pay a larger share to help pay for federal programs.

Others on the list include Amazon, Delta Air Lines, Starbucks and General Motors. Combined, the companies not only paid no combined federal income taxes, but they received a cumulative refund from the IRS of nearly $6.3 billion, according to the report.

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