Nick Shaxson ■ Report: new data disproves US corporations’ false narrative on taxes

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From Americans for Tax Fairness, a major new report about corporate taxes in the United States. It’s called Corporate Tax Chartbook: How Corporations Rig the Rules to Dodge the Taxes They Owe, and it contains many useful facts, such as this:

  • Corporate profits are way up, and corporate taxes are way down. In 1952, corporate profits were 5.5 percent of the economy, and corporate taxes were 5.9 percent. Today, corporate profits are 8.5 percent of the economy, and corporate taxes are just 1.9 percent of GDP.

And there are plenty more striking facts. Just for example:

  • Corporations used to contribute $1 out of every $3 in federal revenue. Today, despite very high corporate profitability, it is $1 out of every $9.
  • As of 2015, U.S. corporations had $2.4 trillion in untaxed profits offshore. Another study, looking at S&P 500 companies, found they held $2.1 trillion as of 2014. This roughly five-fold increase from $434 billion in 2005 stems largely from anticipation of a tax holiday.
  • Just two industries—high-tech and pharmaceutical/health care—hold half the untaxed offshore profits.

And here’s a picture pointing to the “big six” corporate tax havens, which we’ve noted before:

Now read the report.

Further reading: Corporate tax

Report: why we need to tax corporations now, more than ever

Ten reasons to defend the corporate income tax

 

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