The United States has a very anti-competitive corporate tax regime. The federal tax rates is 35 percent and the average of state corporate tax systems brings the rate to nearly 40 percent. In Europe, by contrast, the average corporate tax rate is about 25 percent. Depending on which measure is used, the United States and Japan have been rivals for the dubious prize of having the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world. But that’s about to change. According to a story that I saw linked on the Tax Foundation blog, the new Japanese government intends to lower its corporate tax rate by 10 to 15 percentage points. This means America will have no rivals in the contest for having the most anti-growth business tax system in the world. This is something to keep in mind the next time you hear a politician complaining about jobs going to China and India.
Japan’s new government plans to cut corporate tax closer to international norms as it tries to haul Asia’s biggest economy out of a long slump, the economy minister said in a report Friday. The government is aiming to cut tax on company earnings by five percentage points next fiscal year, from an effective 40 percent now, the Nikkei business daily quoted Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Masayuki Naoshima as saying. “It’s a fact that international corporate tax rates are 10 to 15 points lower than Japan’s,” said Naoshima, who is part of Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s new cabinet sworn in this week. “Over the medium term, the government will aim to bring the rate down to around the global standard,” he said. …”It is now the time to decide (on cutting corporate tax) for the sake of future economic vitality, employment and securing increased tax revenues,” the minister said. “Japan’s economy has basically been in a slump for the past 20 years and people have been overwhelmed by a sense of stagnation.”