How Corporations Are Taxed

There appears to be agreement in principle that U.S. corporate tax rates are too high. The top U.S. corporate income tax rate is 35 percent—the highest in the world among developed countries. However, some small businesses face a 39.6 percent tax rate because, as sole proprietorships or partnerships, they are taxed at the highest personal income tax rate of 39.6 percent. Corporate taxes are so high largely because corporations are an easy target for raising revenue. The corporate income tax represents about 14 percent of total federal tax revenue, including taxes on profits before and after they are distributed to owners and shareholders—so-called double taxation.

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