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U.S. Taxes Corporate Income at Comparatively Low Rate

16 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2012 Last revised: 30 May 2012

Andy Pike

American University - Washington College of Law

Date Written: March 19, 2012


This article asserts that the United States does not subject corporate profits to a relatively high nominal rate of taxation. In support of this assertion, the article analyzes the VAT, and concludes that the VAT incorporates a tax on corporate profits. The portion of the VAT that taxes corporate profit is comparable to, and at least as burdensome as, the current U.S. corporate income tax. The article concludes that the accepted wisdom that the United States imposes an exceptionally high nominal rate of tax (compared to the nominal rates of taxation imposed in other OECD countries) on corporate profits is wrong – at least with respect to a very broad range of domestic businesses. Consequently, the need to lower those tax rates is not justified – at least based on the need to meet the lower rates in other OECD countries.

Keywords: Corporate Tax Rates, Tax Policy, OECD

Suggested Citation

Pike, Andy, U.S. Taxes Corporate Income at Comparatively Low Rate (March 19, 2012). Tax Notes, Vol. 134, No. 12, March 19, 2012; American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2012-21. Available at SSRN:

Andrew Pike (Contact Author)

American University - Washington College of Law ( email )

4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

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