In the coming weeks, we will break down our recently released 2021 State Business Tax Climate Index with maps illustrating each of the five major components of the Index: corporate, individual, sales, property, and unemployment insurance taxA tax is a mandatory payment or charge collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or businesses to cover the costs of general government services, goods, and activities. es. Today we look at states’ rankings on the corporate tax component, which accounts for 20.8 percent of each state’s overall rank.
The corporate tax component of our Index measures each state’s principal tax on business activities. Most states levy a corporate income taxA corporate income tax (CIT) is levied by federal and state governments on business profits. Many companies are not subject to the CIT because they are taxed as pass-through businesses, with income reportable under the individual income tax. on a company’s profits (receipts minus most business expenses, including compensation and the cost of goods sold), while some states levy gross receipts taxA gross receipts tax is a tax applied to a company’s gross sales, without deductions for a firm’s business expenses, like costs of goods sold and compensation. Unlike a sales tax, a gross receipts tax is assessed on businesses and apply to business-to-business transactions in addition to final consumer purchases, leading to tax pyramiding. es, which allow few or no deductions for a company’s expenses.
Unlike other studies that look solely at tax burdens, the Index measures how well or poorly each state structures its tax system. It is concerned with the how, not the how much, of state revenue, because there are better and worse ways to levy taxes. Our corporate tax component, for example, scores states not just on their corporate tax rates and brackets, but also on how they handle net operating losses, whether they levy gross receipts-style taxes (which are more economically harmful than corporate income taxes), whether businesses can fully expense purchases of machinery and equipment, and whether states index their brackets for inflationInflation is when the general price of goods and services increases across the economy, reducing the purchasing power of a currency and the value of certain assets. The same paycheck covers less goods, services, and bills. It is sometimes referred to as a “hidden tax,” as it leaves taxpayers less well-off due to higher costs and “bracket creep,” while increasing the government’s spending power. , among other factors.
Click here to see an interactive version of states’ corporate tax rankings, and then click on your state for more information about how its tax system compares both regionally and nationally.
|State||2018 Rank||2019 Rank||2020 Rank||2021 Rank||Change from 2020 to 2021|
|District of Columbia||26||24||15||17||-2|
Note: A rank of 1 is best, 50 is worst. All scores are for fiscal years. DC’s score and rank do not affect other states.
Source: Tax Foundation.
Note: This map is part of a series in which we will examine each of the five major components of our 2021 State Business Tax Climate Index.
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