NEW YORK -- A new study says 26 large U.S. companies coughed up big bucks to their CEOs last year but for federal taxes, not so much.

The liberal-leaning Institute for Policy Studies study finds companies, including AT&T, Boeing and Citigroup, paid their CEOs an average of $20.4 million last year while paying little or no federal tax on ample profits.

Of the 26 companies, 18 received cash back or credits to apply against tax in the future.

The study singles out Boeing CEO James McNerney Jr. It said he got $18.4 million in pay last year while his company received a tax refund of $605 million.

The 45-page attack on the corporate tax code says deductions and credits are allowing companies to lavish big pay packages on executives and cut their tax bills while Washington gets less money in a time of trillion-plus deficits.

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