The High US Corporate Tax Rate

From the Small Business Administration:

Under President Ronald Reagan’s guidance, the top corporate income tax rate was reduced from 46% to 34%. However, in 1993, that rate was increased to 35%.

Since we are in a global competition for capital, how does the U.S. tax rate compare to other nations? Well, quite poorly.

In May 2004, KPMG published a corporate tax rate survey of 69 countries. The U.S. tax rate of 40% — calculated with the 35% federal rate plus a 5% rate approximation for state taxes – ranked second highest. Only Japan’s rate of 42% was higher.

It is worth noting those ranking best. For example, eight nations imposed corporate tax rates of less than 20%, according to the KPMG survey.

Country Corporate Tax Rate

Ireland 12.5%

Cyprus 15%

Hungary 16%

Chile 17%

Hong Kong 17.5%

Iceland 18%

Poland 19%

Slovakia 19%


These comparisons need to be kept in mind as policymakers ponder changes on the tax front.

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