Iceland is known as the Nordic Tiger because of rapid economic growth. Much of the nation’s prosperity is the result of free‐market policies, including a 36 percent flat tax on labor income, a 10 percent flat tax on capital income, and a corporate tax rate of just 18 percent (down from 50 percent at the end of the 1980s). But Iceland is not resting on its laurels. The government has just announced a reduction in the corporate tax rate:
The corporate income tax will be cut from 18 per cent to 15 per cent, effective for the 2008 income year and come into force in the 2009 assessment year.
Meanwhile, even though the 25 percent corporate tax rate in Taiwan is already substantially lower than the 39 percent‐plus rate in the United States, Taiwanese politicians apparently recognize that globalization and tax competition are powerful arguments for even lower rates. Tax-news.com is reporting that the government therefore plans to slash the corporate rate to 17.5 percent — and also make unspecified reductions to personal income tax rates:
It emerged this week that the Taiwanese cabinet has approved plans to reduce corporate and personal income tax rates, although the proposed changes must still secure parliamentary approval. The cuts would see the business tax rate reduced to 17.5% (from 25%), and the personal income tax rate slashed, according to reports. No timetable has yet been announced for the introduction of the new lower rates, but according to the International Herald Tribune, ministries likely to be affected by the changes have been asked to revise legislation to accommodate the new rates as soon as possible.
When will American politicians hop on the tax‐cutting bandwagon?