I’ve relentlessly complained that the United States has the highest corporate tax rate among all developed nations.
And if you look at all the world’s countries, our status is still very dismal. According to the Economist, we have the second highest corporate tax rate, exceeded only by the United Arab Emirates.
But some people argue that the statutory tax rate can be very misleading because of all the other policies that impact the actual tax burden on companies.
That’s a very fair point, so I was very interested to see that a couple of economists at a German think tank put together a “tax attractiveness” ranking based on 16 different variables. The statutory tax rate is one of the measures, of course, but they also look at policies such as “the taxation of dividends and capital gains, withholding taxes, the existence of a group taxation regime, loss offset provision, the double tax treaty network, thin capitalization rules, and controlled foreign company (CFC) rules.”
It turns out that these additional variables can make a big difference in the overall attractiveness of a nation’s corporate tax regime. As you can see from this list of top-10 and bottom-10 nations, the United Arab Emirates has one of the world’s most attractive corporate tax systems, notwithstanding having the highest corporate tax rate.
Unfortunately, the United States remains mired near the bottom.