Under the House Ways and Means tax plan, the United States would tax corporate income at the third-highest integrated tax rate among rich nations, averaging 56.6 percent.
Erica York is Senior Economist and Research Manager with Tax Foundation’s Center for Federal Tax Policy. She previously worked as an auditor at a large community bank in Kansas and interned at Tax Foundation’s Center for State Tax Policy.
Her analysis has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Politico, and other national and international media outlets. She holds a master’s degree in Economics from Wichita State University and an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and Economics from Sterling (KS) College, where she is currently an adjunct professor. Erica lives in Kansas with her husband and their two children.
The White House Council of Economic Advisors (CEA)’s recent report estimates the average federal individual income tax rate for the top 400 wealthiest households in the U.S to be 8.2 percent, lower than typically estimated for top earners.
Policymakers should carefully analyze tax expenditures before categorizing one as a loophole—some tax expenditures are important structural elements of the tax code while others are unsound.
The latest version of the Biden Build Back Better agenda, released last week by the House Ways and Means committee, is dense, with too many provisions to flesh out completely. Here’s a rundown of the good, the bad, and the ugly of it.
Under the Ways and Means text, the U.S. would have an average corporate tax rate of 30.9 percent, which would be the third-highest corporate tax rate in the OECD, behind only Colombia and Portugal.
Corporations in Most States Would Face Income Tax Rate Exceeding 30 Percent Under Ways and Means Proposal
Under the House Democrats’ tax plan, companies in 21 states and D.C. would face a higher corporate tax rate than in any country in the OECD.
Research shows that a tax on stock buybacks would not be the right policy solution to encourage long-term investment or lift wages.
Rather than pursuing policies that have demonstrably reduced R&D and innovation elsewhere, and that would disincentivize R&D in the U.S., lawmakers should continue to ensure an ecosystem that encourages risk-taking and R&D.
Lawmakers are considering policy changes within the reconciliation bill that would reduce private R&D within the pharmaceutical industry and reduce the number of new drugs coming to market. Instead of hampering medical progress, policymakers should work to ensure that the tax code remains conducive to R&D spending and the resulting innovation.
Congressional lawmakers are putting together a reconciliation bill to enact much of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. Many lawmakers including Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR), however, want to make their own mark on the legislation.
The Biden corporate tax plan would disproportionately harm these congressional districts and make the U.S. less internationally competitive. These tax hikes, along with individual tax increases, would also raise taxes on net for 96 percent of congressional districts by 2031 after these temporary credits expire in 2025.
Over the next ten years, the structure of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) is scheduled to change, complicating efforts to extend enhanced CTC benefits or reform the CTC for the long-term. Rather than take an all-or-nothing approach or kick the can down the road by relying on temporary expansions, lawmakers could consider alternative options that better target low-income households, retain work incentives, reduce the impact on federal revenue, and provide taxpayers with a stable, consistent tax code.
While the excise tax penalty in H.R. 3 is referred to as a 95 percent tax rate, it actually amounts to a 1,900 percent tax rate because of how the proposal defines the tax base. In other words, under the H.R. 3 tax penalty, a drug that sells for $100 would incur a $1,900 tax.
Temporary policy creates uncertainty for taxpayers and scheduling more expirations will add to the already-expiring provisions under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017.
One of the ways lawmakers intend to pay for $3.5 trillion of new spending in the budget reconciliation package is by creating “health care savings.” The leading proposal to achieve this is H.R. 3, the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which would change the way that prescription drug prices are negotiated under Medicare Part D.
The Biden administration recently cited an analysis from Treasury claiming that “the President’s agenda will protect 97 percent of small business owners from income tax rate increases.” However, the figure is misleading. To assess the economic effect of higher marginal tax rates, it matters how much income or investment will be affected—not how many taxpayers.
Reviewing the sources of personal income shows that the personal income tax is largely a tax on labor, primarily because our personal income is mostly derived from labor. However, varied sources of capital income also play a role in American incomes. While capital income sources are small compared to labor income, they are still significant and need to be accounted for, both by policymakers trying to collect revenue efficiently and by those attempting to understand the distribution of personal income.
The arguments for a new surtax on corporate book income misconstrues why there are differences between a corporation’s taxable income and book income.
The ideal treatment is to match the tax code to a firm’s cash flow—allow immediate deductions for all expenses, including all forms of investment, while taxing the resulting returns from the investments.
To fully follow the Scandinavian model would require additional taxes that place a higher burden on middle-income earners, but instead, Biden proposes higher taxes on corporations and households making more than $400,000.