Monday, April 2, 2012

We’re Fools For Being Number One

Just in time for April Fools, on April 1, the United States became the country with the highest corporate tax rate in the world. This was triggered by Japan reducing their rate. As cited by The Daily Caller, “Our top corporate tax rate has hovered at 35 percent for years. Meanwhile, other countries have gotten the message that lowering corporate taxes encourages growth. Canada has engaged in a series of cuts, ultimately reducing its corporate rate to 15 percent. Great Britain recently announced it will drop its corporate tax to 24 percent next month and then 22 percent by 2014.”

I know some of you are going to say, well what about all those big companies that pay no taxes? Well you are right. The effective tax rate for the large companies drops us to about sixth highest in the world, according to some economic pundits. The problem is that most companies are not operating like those big guys and it is the small and medium size businesses that are really the economic engine of our country. When you figure that most small business are filing as S corps, then I have heard that the effective tax rate could be as high as 50 percent.

In my state it is even worse since California is broke. There is no plan in sight to create any sort of economic development. Instead we pass the most stringent environmental laws IN THE WORLD that cost billions to California based businesses. Now we have two proposals to increase income taxes, once again, a direct hit to all those small businesses that file as S corps.

For those of you who complain about U.S. jobs moving off-shore, this tax burden is a huge part of that equation, along with the fact that US companies carry about a 20 percent regulatory cost burden above any other country in the world.

Personally, I would love to see the tax loop holes closed up and a movement toward a flatter tax rate. There is definitely a problem when I am in a meeting to discuss tax issues for small business and the two IRS representatives can’t even agree on what the tax law is or how it should be applied.

I know this is a hot topic right now, so share your creative ideas on how you would solve our country’s tax code problems and once again make us competitive with the rest of the world.