Corporate Tax Rates in the United States

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on February 23, 2011

A survey from the Cato Institute looks at the corporate tax rates in 83 countries, and finds that the effective corporate tax rate of 34.6% is almost twice the average rate in all of the countries surveyed.

Obviously, this means that corporate interests in this country are out of control, drunk with power, and delivering on the demands of the ruling oligarchy at the expense of all other interests.


  • Ben

    Read the survey. What they mean by “effective” corporate tax rate is the ratio of taxes to gross-after-tax profits on marginal capital investment projects that attract foreign investors. They’re effectively sampling a small subset of things that corporations do and finding the tax rate on that. Additionally, they factor in stuff like local and state taxes but not taxes like the VAT, which would apply to investment in other countries but not the US.

    Long story short: not the best thing Cato’s ever produced.

    For an actual discussion of what people mean when they say “corporate tax rates”, see here:

    • Pejman Yousefzadeh

      Thanks for the comment. If you don’t like Cato’s survey, try this one. It’s pretty well established that corporate tax rates in the United States far and away outstrip those found in other countries.

      • Ben

        That pdf has the same problem, namely that it doesn’t take into account the various tax breaks and loopholes that exist. The amount that corporations actually pay is a lot smaller than the nominal tax rate. It’s more accurate to say that “it’s pretty well established that corporate tax rates in the United States, when factoring in breaks and loopholes, far and away undercut those found in other countries”.

        The link I posted above is a fairly good introduction to these kinds of issues.

        • Anonymous

          The KPMG report actually states that the 40% net effective corporate tax rate comes after deductions, which include deductions for state and local income tax expenses. In addition, there is the AMT, which taxes at a lower rate, but affects a broader base.

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