Businesses Taxed Too Much? Not Really...

User Forum Topic
Submitted by gandalf on February 21, 2011 - 2:09pm

(Reuters) - Most U.S. and foreign corporations doing business in the United States avoid paying any federal income taxes, despite trillions of dollars worth of sales, a government study released on Tuesday said.

The Government Accountability Office said 72 percent of all foreign corporations and about 57 percent of U.S. companies doing business in the United States paid no federal income taxes for at least one year between 1998 and 2005.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/08/1...

Submitted by gandalf on February 21, 2011 - 3:02pm.

Current tax policy is disproportionate and unfair, and tax avoidance levels among large corporations and the ultra-wealthy is obscene:

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/Tax/ge-ex...

Submitted by surveyor on February 21, 2011 - 5:20pm.

From that article:

"The GAO said corporations escaped paying federal income taxes for a variety of reasons including operating losses, tax credits and an ability to use transactions within the company to shift income to low tax countries."

Huh.

Submitted by gandalf on February 21, 2011 - 8:25pm.

We could argue about tax rates...

But that isn't the issue.

They don't pay any tax.

That's the issue.

Submitted by GH on February 21, 2011 - 9:21pm.

Clearly, rather than going after small business and trying to hold us upside down by our feet and shake us to see if any more "change" falls out of our pockets, these massive corporations should be the target of any attempt to collect more tax.

They are of course the ones contributing to both sides of the D/R fence!

Submitted by surveyor on February 21, 2011 - 10:38pm.

gandalf wrote:
We could argue about tax rates...

But that isn't the issue.

They don't pay any tax.

That's the issue.

And your would-be solution is to raise the tax rates and close any loopholes.

Yeah, that'll make them come here.

/sarcasm off

Submitted by GH on February 21, 2011 - 10:43pm.

And your would-be solution is to raise the tax rates and close any loopholes.
Yeah, that'll make them come here.

They all seem to want to sell here right? Perhaps if they were given a choice of selling here and paying tax or not selling here and not paying tax that would help them make a sound business decision yes?

Submitted by surveyor on February 21, 2011 - 11:03pm.

It would be nice if it worked out that way but usually what happens is that the manufacturing, base offices, and staff is moved out of the "high tax" areas and sent to the "lower tax" areas. Only minimal staff would be retained in the high tax areas. So their tax "footprint" would be minimized as well.

Basic economics.

Bye bye jobs! Nice to know ya.

Submitted by ucodegen on February 22, 2011 - 12:15am.

gandalf wrote:
We could argue about tax rates...

But that isn't the issue.

They don't pay any tax.

That's the issue.


So you propose that they get taxed even when they don't make any money? When they are operating at a loss like a startup?

The 57% number quoted had a caveat. It is for a one year period within a 7 year window. It includes the year periods between 2000 and 2003 when we were entering into recession-1. It also does not mention size of businesses.

During that time corporate sales in the United States totaled $2.5 trillion, according to Democratic Sens.

And what is their cost of doing business during the same period? Nice to quote the sales.. but that is gross, not net. If you have a margin of 4%, of every $100 of sales, you have $4 of income.

The report did not name any companies.

Nice.. it prevents people from double checking their figures. NAME THEM!!! particularly the ones not paying any taxes (foreign and domestic).

The study showed about 28 percent of large foreign corporations, those with more than $250 million in assets, doing business in the United States paid no federal income taxes in 2005 despite $372 billion in gross receipts, the senators said.

Again.. using a gross number, not a net.

Submitted by greekfire on February 22, 2011 - 12:26am.

It doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize that it's the large corporations, coupled with the lobbyists and interest groups that they fund, who assist (bribe) the politicians in(to) writing the legislation that marginalizes those who stand in the way of their own profits. Last one to the gov't trough is a rotten egg!

Submitted by EconProf on February 22, 2011 - 11:24am.

Seldom have I seen such faulty conclusions based on such incomplete information.
Reuters says that 42% of companies paid no taxes in at least two out of seven years, despite trillions of dollars in revenues.
So what?
Corporate income taxes are based on profits, not sales. In years when companies make no profits but still have sales, should they pay a corporate income tax?
Profits vary over the years. Maybe they mak
de big profits in the other five years and paid big taxes. Who knows?
The article, and the politicians quoted, really tell us very little. Both senators are class-warrior types who love to misinform. But here their conclusions are clearly not warranted.
There are many ways our tax laws are wrong, and maybe should come down harder on companies in certain ways. But this article does nothing to help. It inflames, but does not inform.

Submitted by surveyor on February 22, 2011 - 3:58pm.

gandalf wrote:
We could argue about tax rates...

But that isn't the issue.

They don't pay any tax.

That's the issue.

Hmmm by your logic, we should also go after the 50% of Americans who don't any income tax either.

Submitted by gandalf on February 22, 2011 - 7:24pm.

No.

Actually, these are household names like GE, Exxon, Goldman Sachs, etc. with enormous net sales in U.S. markets sitting on about $2 Trillion in cash in offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands.

The money is not there because they do business in the Cayman Islands. The Cayman Islands has no market share of consequence. Why is the money there?

More importantly, how did it get there? The $2T in cash didn't materialize out of thin air. The money is profit by any measure that was shifted into offshore subsidiaries and reclassified as something other than profit for the purpose of EVADING TAXES.

Who here thinks Cayman Islands tax shelters are okay? Really, I'd like to know.

Surveyor?

EconProf?

I run a business. We are profitable. We pay taxes. We don't use Cayman Islands tax havens.

Close out the tax loopholes for big corporate multinationals.

Not sure how anybody with even half a brain could argue otherwise.

Submitted by gandalf on February 22, 2011 - 7:25pm.

[duplicate]

Submitted by surveyor on February 23, 2011 - 3:48am.

Oh dear $2 trillion in cash that the Democrats can't touch and tax.

See, I have no problem with corporations or people wanting to keep more of their money because they tend to be the best users of it. Because it's theirs, they want to take care of it. They don't always succeed, but they do a heck of a lot better than putting it in the hands of the government.

But instead of trying to tax that money or close this loophole or that loophole, how about creating a system where they want to use that money to create jobs and opportunity. Instead of demonizing them, accusing them of ill intent, how about we try to lobby them to invest in America? How about lowering the corporate tax rate or simplifying the tax code so that it's just too much of a bother trying to avoid taxes? If we lowered the tax rate to a more competitive level, then maybe they wouldn't feel like moving somewhere else. If we promoted competition and destroyed barriers to doing business, we will find corporations ready to invest and hire.

Because many corporations would rather put that money to good use. They would rather try to create something, try to use it to make a buck, which creates more opportunity for everyone.

See, that $2 trillion is not yours. You don't have a right to it. It's not the U.S. government's. It's theirs. And unless they see a way to create something with that money, they ain't doing nothing with it, no matter how many loopholes you close or tax rates you raise.

Submitted by Butleroftwo on February 23, 2011 - 8:39am.

I knew this was a gandalf post before I opened it.

Submitted by gandalf on February 23, 2011 - 10:21am.

That doesn't make sense, surveyor.

Most of what you say is just talking point crap.

It's not my money. It's not the democrats money. The money goes to fund our governments, local and federal, and the roads you drive on, the water you drink, the wars we fight (middle east anybody?), the police/fire crews, teachers who teach our children, parks they play in, etc... THEY ARE PAID FOR by our collective tax dollars.

You can argue about what government should and should not do. Personally, I don't support fighting retarded wars in the middle east on behalf of oil companies. I see marginal benefit, and I think it's waste of public resources that ignores larger energy sector issues and screws over my generation. (Thanks, Boomers.)

Regardless where the money goes...

Only clueless right-wing tools would argue that giant corporations like BP and Wal-Mart get to legally avoid and evade taxes while the rest of us carry the burden.

That whole Tea Party thing, basically, after you subtract Ron Paul (who I like), their entire value system is a fraud, front operation for the Republican Party.

Tax policy needs to be reformed. If the policy structure was made more even, loopholes closed, studies show you could lower overall tax rates and still collect as much revenue by reducing avoidance, which would stimulate the economy and ADD JOBS.

Rant on, tea baggers.

Submitted by lifeizfunhuh on February 23, 2011 - 12:44pm.

[quote=surveyor

See, that $2 trillion is not yours. You don't have a right to it. It's not the U.S. government's. It's theirs. And unless they see a way to create something with that money, they ain't doing nothing with it, no matter how many loopholes you close or tax rates you raise.[/quote]

Surveyor,

As an individual on here who does my best to legally lower my tax bill, I agree with your sentiments. As an individual and a business owner (attorney), I hate every attempt by government to abscond my hard earned money. I agree that private individuals are (theoretically) far better equipped to spend the "profits" generated from business activity. Here is the problem: 1) A good accountant (I have one) can take anything that would by any fair estimation be a "profit" and transfer it, lend it, spend it, or invest it in such a way that the "profit" disappears. It's the nature of an accounting system that taxes revenue - costs. Increase the "costs", and the profit goes away. You can't blame businesses or individuals from using the law to their advantage. Can you? (The Supreme Court says no).

The problem then is not with the businesses/individuals that legally pay little or not taxes. The problem is with the tax system. I think what gets everyone so upset is that the tax system is set up so that not all participants have equal access to tax lowering strategies. It is intentionally structured to favor wealthy individuals and corporations (that pay wealthy individuals in stock, dividends and capital gains). The thing that (rightfully) pisses people off is that the brunt of our nation's tax revenue is generated by the bottom 80% of citizens who take home about 40% of income (and control a far lesser portion of wealth). This is bad social policy because it artificially concentrates wealth to those at the top.

So I think if you boil it all down, the gripe is this: why does someone making 50k/year pay 30% taxes, while someone making millions pays 5% (estimates)? As JFK famously said: "to whom much is given, much is expected."

As a caveat to all this, in a truly global economy where money moves across borders in the blink of an eye, there is nothing one country can do. If the U.S. makes their tax system more "fair", some other country will accommodate, and money will flow to that other country. So basically, the rich will always oppress the poor. It has always been that way, and it always will be.

Submitted by ucodegen on February 23, 2011 - 2:23pm.

lifeizfunhuh wrote:
The thing that (rightfully) pisses people off is that the brunt of our nation's tax revenue is generated by the bottom 80% of citizens who take home about 40% of income (and control a far lesser portion of wealth).
This is a falsehood. Take a look at your tax payments (total) from your 1040/540s. Now for comparison:
Regan during his governor days was paying more than $240,000/year in federal taxes. How many times your tax payment is that?(don't have to tell me.. just calculate it).

The U.S. has a progressive tax schedule. Each additional dollar gets taxed at a higher percentage. If you have the 1040 instructional booklet, go to the back of the booklet... or try this link for the 2010 tables:
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040tt.pdf

Go to the last page. Lets take 'single' for example.
If you make up to $8,375/yr - you pay 10% federal taxes.
If you make between $8,375 and $34,000 - you pay between 10% and 13.8% in taxes (the first $8375 slid under the tax bar because the 15% applies to the amount over $8375) Plugging the brackets into handy-dandy Excel, gives:
Income, Tax, Total Percent
$5,000.00 $500.00 10.00%
$10,000.00 $1,081.25 10.81%
$15,000.00 $1,831.25 12.21%
$20,000.00 $2,581.25 12.91%
$25,000.00 $3,331.25 13.33%
$30,000.00 $4,081.25 13.60%
$35,000.00 $4,931.25 14.09%
$40,000.00 $6,181.25 15.45%
$50,000.00 $8,681.25 17.36%
$60,000.00 $11,181.25 18.64%
$70,000.00 $13,681.25 19.54%
$80,000.00 $16,181.25 20.23%
$90,000.00 $18,909.25 21.01%
$100,000.00 $21,709.25 21.71%
$110,000.00 $24,509.25 22.28%
$130,000.00 $30,109.25 23.16%
$150,000.00 $35,709.25 23.81%
$170,000.00 $41,309.25 24.30%
$190,000.00 $47,816.75 25.17%
$210,000.00 $54,416.75 25.91%
$230,000.00 $61,016.75 26.53%
$250,000.00 $67,616.75 27.05%
$300,000.00 $84,116.75 28.04%
$350,000.00 $100,616.75 28.75%
$400,000.00 $117,643.75 29.41%
$450,000.00 $135,143.75 30.03%
$500,000.00 $152,643.75 30.53%
$550,000.00 $170,143.75 30.94%
$600,000.00 $187,643.75 31.27%

There are also income based limits to deductions as well.
The truth is that about 20% or less of the population pays 80% or more of the taxes. This above table does not include SS tax or state taxes. Keep in mind that if you are earning more than $35k/yr after retirement - you actually lose a bit on Social Security.

While qualified dividends (US based companies) are not taxed - the company is generally taxed at 35% federal(statutory rate). As a common stockholder, you own the business - much like a partnership but with different liabilities (this means that the income sourced from dividends has already been taxed - at 35%). A partnership/LLCs income is generally 'pass through', taxed at the individual rate, which is often lower than the 35%. Dividends are not tax deductible from the aspect of the company.

Capital gains brackets for Long Term are 5%,10%,15%,20% depending upon income. (note: California treats long term and short term capital gains as standard income).
The only exception here is collectables(28%) and Real Estate(first $250k exempt on principle property (500k for married)). Personally, I don't like the R.E. exemption because I feel it sponsors RE speculation - but also keep in mind that the U.S. government create inflation, which is part of the factor that drives up R.E. prices - and creates the R.E. capital gain.

Stock options are treated as income for tax purposes, unless held for 1 year after exercising the option. In that case the gain is split between income and capital gains. If restricted stock is granted - the difference between the strike price of the granted restricted stock and current market price is considered income (in money) and gain during holding period is considered capital gains. Above tables and rates apply.

Submitted by gandalf on February 23, 2011 - 3:06pm.

Nice post, ucodegen. Substantive.

I don't think your post really addresses the core issue of what constitutes 'taxable' in the first place, which is where most of the avoidance occurs at higher levels, especially in corporate finance/accounting departments.

I'd be interested in your assessment of this underlying tax policy issue, avoidance strategies at the high-end. And I would dispute your assertion that 'real tax' is distributed fairly.

Substantial wealth is accrued by corporations and HNW-individuals without officially reporting the YOY differences as wealth as income or even as gains. In particular, numbers associated with offshore tax havens are unacceptably large at a time when public budgets everywhere are under duress.

So again, I'd be interested in a fair debate on this. My view is, I think taxes can be lower, and one of the mechanisms for reducing tax rates in a responsible way would be to reform the tax system to reduce avoidance at the high-end. Hard to understand why anybody would disagree.

Submitted by ucodegen on February 23, 2011 - 5:19pm.

gandalf wrote:
I don't think your post really addresses the core issue of what constitutes 'taxable' in the first place, which is where most of the avoidance occurs at higher levels, especially in corporate finance/accounting departments.

I didn't want to write a blog post that was as long as the tax code. One thing I do worry about is what makes something 'taxable'. I have a close relative that deals with Financial Accounting and who started with Corporate Auditing. This person doesn't always have a good opinion of the 'knowledge' of some of the people they have dealt with - even from some of the accounting firms. Most of the dirty games seem to be at the 'corporate' level vs personal income tax level. A company making over 100M/year can afford more/better accountants than an individual.

gandalf wrote:
I'd be interested in your assessment of this underlying tax policy issue, avoidance strategies at the high-end. And I would dispute your assertion that 'real tax' is distributed fairly.
I never asserted it is fair. I was dealing with the statement
The thing that (rightfully) pisses people off is that the brunt of our nation's tax revenue is generated by the bottom 80% of citizens who take home about 40% of income.

One of the current problems with tax structures, is that money is 'mobile'. If you tax too heavily in one locale/state/country, it will move and along with it goes the income it can generate and the associated jobs. Tax too hard and the state/fed will get a boost in tax revenues, but that boost is fleeting because those taxed will adapt to the change(Un-intended consequences of tax policy changes). Too many people feel that the simple solution is just tax them.. but reality is much more complicated.

gandalf wrote:
Substantial wealth is accrued by corporations and HNW-individuals without officially reporting the YOY differences as wealth as income or even as gains.
The problem with doing it YOY is that some of the gains are long term, and could be easily eaten up with just one bad year. Some of these are on owned assets. Should the government be able to tax you on the year to year change in value of object held? Imagine the situation with owning a car. If the value of the vehicle goes up, you will owe tax on it. You did nothing to do cause this, and the value change was most likely due to inflation. Imagine the games with inflation that the government would play if YOY asset value changes were handled as taxable income. This is why it is dependent upon a taxable event, ie sale or conversion to cash.

When I look at the house my parents owned way back in the '60s and '70s and know how much they paid($35k) when they bought it and how much it is worth now($2.5M).. is that difference caused by any improvement(not really), others driving up real estate prices(definitely) inflation(definitely). The period involved was quite long (almost 50 years). So is this considered 'weath' or is it devaluation of the currency due to inflation?

gandalf wrote:
In particular, numbers associated with offshore tax havens are unacceptably large at a time when public budgets everywhere are under duress.

There is a lot of statements relative to offshore tax havens. The truth there is that many of the procedures they claim are illegal. The problem is catching them. It is also easy for politicians to claim the problem is due to tax evasion for the purposes of preventing people from looking behind the curtain and seeing that a lot of the behavior is due to the politicians spending behaviors and governmental money allocation and budgeting techniques.

gandalf wrote:
. My view is, I think taxes can be lower, and one of the mechanisms for reducing tax rates in a responsible way would be to reform the tax system to reduce avoidance at the high-end.
I agree they can be lower, but I think that the amount loss to high-end avoidance is less than people think. I do know for a fact, that if you are making more than $100k a year, your taxes get looked at much closer than those at lower incomes.

It should be interesting what happens as the updated requirements with respect to capital gains reporting hits the brokerage companies.

Submitted by surveyor on February 23, 2011 - 6:00pm.

http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles...

"It shouldn’t be necessary to remind reporters and editors who cover such matters that businesses pay taxes on their profits, not sales. But I often read stories in which a reporter confuses the two, saying that a business “made” $50 million when the writer is referring to the company’s sales. Much of the press that the GAO report received revolves around blurring the distinction between these two. As Michigan Senator Carl Levin, a frequent critic of corporations, said of the study, “Twenty-five percent of the largest U.S. corporations [those with more than $50 million in revenues] had $1.1 trillion in gross sales in 2005 and yet paid no federal income taxes.” That statement suggests that Levin is either trying to mislead us or that he has made it into the world’s most exclusive club, the U.S. Senate, without knowing the difference between earnings and sales.

The difference, of course, can be enormous. For one thing, many industries have extremely small profit margins because as soon as it gets too easy to make a buck in a free-market system, you’re sure to get plenty of competitors crowding in, driving down your margins. The average net margin in the supermarket business is just 1 to 2 percent of sales, for instance, which means that a company with $50 million in sales (to use the study’s definition of large businesses) would earn, on average just $500,000-to-$1 million annually and pay taxes on that money. Many firms in the industry, of course, would be below that average, and some would lose money in any year.

Many businesses we regard as successful operate on small profit margins. After paying $5.8 billion in taxes in 2005, Wal-Mart earned $11.7 billion—a nice chunk of change. But those earnings were on revenues of $312 billion, a mere 3.4 percent net profit margin. Exxon Mobil earned $36 billion in 2005 after paying $23.3 billion in taxes on revenues of $371 billion. Looking at that result you realize that in America today, a ‘windfall’ profit is one that amounts to less than 10 percent of revenues."

...

"the U.S. has the second highest corporate tax rate among 30 countries in the Organisation of Economic Co-Operation and Development. That matters because, as economists for the OECD recently concluded, the corporate tax is the most harmful to economic growth of all the levies most commonly used by member nations. "

Let's also not forget that as part of the cost of doing business, corporations have to pay at least some of these taxes:

1. Accounts Receivable Tax
2. Accounting and Tax Preparation (cost to taxpayers $300 billion)
3. Accumulated Earnings Tax
4. Accumulation Distribution of Trusts
5. Activity Fee (Dumping Permit Fee)
6 . Air Tax (PA coin-operated vacuums)
7. Aircraft Jet Fuel Tax
8. Aircraft Excise Tax
9 . Alcohol Fuels Tax
10. Alcoholic Beverage Tax
11. Alternative Minimum Tax – Amt
12. Ambulance Services (Air Ambulance Services, SD)
13. Ammunition Tax
14. Amusement Tax (MA, VA, MD)
15. Animal Slaughter Tax (WI, others, Per Animal)
16. Annual Custodial Fees (Ira Accounts)
17. Ballast Water Management Fee (Marine Invasive Species)
18. Biodiesel Fuel Tax
19. Blueberry Tax (Maine)
20. Bribe Taxes (Pay If You Dare)
21. Brothel licensing fees
22. Building Permit Tax
23. Capital Gains Tax
24. California Interstate User Diesel Fuel Tax
25. California Redemption Value (Can and Bottle Tax)
26. CDL License Tax
27. Charter Boat Captain License
28. Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Fee
29. Cigarette Tax
30. Cigarette Tax Stamp (Acts) (Distributors)
31. Compressed Natural Gas Tax
32. Commercial Activity Tax (OH – for Service Providers)
33. Corporate Income Tax
34. Court Fines (Indirect Taxes)
35. County Property Tax
36. Disposable Diapers Tax (Wisconsin)
37. Disposal Fee (Any Landfill Dumping)
38. Dog License Tax
39. Duck Hunting Tax Stamp (PA, others)
40. Electronic Waste Recycling Fee (E-Waste)
41. Emergency Telephone User Surcharge
42. Environmental Fee (CA – HazMat Fees)
43. Estate Tax (Death Tax, to be reinstated)
44. Excise Taxes
45. Facility Fee (CA – HazMat Fees)
46. FDIC tax (insurance premium on bank deposits)
47. Federal Income Tax
48. Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
49. Fiduciary Income Tax (Estates and Trusts)
50. Fishing License Tax
51. Flush Tax (MD Tax For Producing Wastewater)
52. Food License Tax
53. Fountain Soda Drink Tax (Chicago – 9%)
54. Franchise Tax
55. Fresh Fruit (CA, if Purchased From A Vending Machine)
56. Fuel Gross Receipts Tax (Retail/Distributor)
57. Fuel Permit Tax
58. Fur Clothing Tax (MN)
59. Garbage Tax
60. Gasoline Tax (475 Cents Per Gallon)
61. Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax
62. Generator Fee (Recycled Waste Fee)
63. Gift Tax
64. Gross Receipts Tax
65. Habitat Stamp (Hunting/Fishing in some states)
66. Hamburger Tax
67. Hazardous Substances Fees: Generator, Facility, Disposal
68. Highway Access Fee
69. Household Employment Taxes
70. Hunting License Tax
71. Illegal Drug Possession (No Carolina)
72. Individual Income Tax
73. Inheritance Tax
74. Insect Control Hazardous Materials License
75. Insurance Premium Tax
76. Intangible Tax (Leases Of Govt. Owned Real Property)
77. Integrated Waste Management Fee
78. Interstate User Diesel Fuel Tax
79. Inventory Tax
80. IRA Rollover Tax (a transfer of IRA money)
81. IRA Early Withdrawal Tax
82. IRS Interest Charges
83. IRS Penalties (Tax On Top Of Tax)
84. Jock Tax (income earned by athletes in some states)
85. Kerosene, Distillate, & Stove Oil Taxes
86. Kiddie Tax (Child’s Earned Interest Form 8615)
87. Land Gains and Real Estate Withholding
88. Lead Poisoning Prevention Fee (Occupational)
89. Lease Severance Tax
90. Library Tax
91. Liquid Natural Gas Tax
92. Liquid Petroleum Gas Tax
93. Liquor Tax
94. Litigation Tax (TN Imposes Varies With the Offense)
95. LLC/PLLC Corporate Registration Tax
96. Local Income Tax
97. Lodging Taxes
98. Lump-Sum Distributions
99. Luxury Taxes
100. Make-Up Tax (Ohio, applying in a salon is taxable)
101. Marriage License Tax
102. Meal Tax
103. Medicare Tax
104. Mello-Roos Taxes (Special Taxes and Assessments)
105. Migratory Waterfowl Stamp (addition to hunting license)
106. Minnow Dealers License (Retail – For One Shop)
107. Minnow Dealers License (Distributor – For One+ Shops)
108. Mobile Home Ad Valorem Taxes
109. Motor Fuel Tax (For Suppliers)
110. Motor Vehicle Tax
111. Music and Dramatic Performing Rights Tax
112. Nudity Tax (Utah)
113. Nursery Registration (Buying and selling plants)
114. Occupancy Inspection Fees
115. Occupation Taxes and Fees (Various Professional Fees)
116. Oil and Gas Assessment Tax
117. Oil Spill Response, Prevention, and Administration Fee
118. Parking Space Taxes
119. Pass-Through Withholding
120. Pay-Phone Calls Tax (Indiana)
121. Percolation Test Fee
122. Personal Property Tax
123. Personal Holding Company (undistributed earnings)
124. Pest Control License
125. Petroleum Business Tax
126. Playing Card Tax (Al)
127. Pole Tax (TX – A $5 Cover Charge On Strip Clubs)
129. Property Tax
130. Property Transfer Tax (DE, ownership transfer between parties)
131. Prostitution Tax (NV – Prostitute Work Permits)
132. Poultry Registered Premises License (Sales License)
133. Rain Water Tax (Runoff after a Storm)
134. Rat Control Fee (CA)
135. Real Estate Tax
136. Recreational Vehicle Tax
137. Refrigerator and Freezer Recycling Fees
138. Regional Transit Taxing Authority (Trains)
139. Road Usage Tax
140. Room Tax (Hotel Rooms)
141. Sales Tax (State)
142. Sales Tax (City)
143. Sales And Use Tax (Sellers Permit)
144. School Tax
145. Service Charge Tax
146. Self Employment Tax
147. Septic And Drain Field Inspection Fees
148. Sex Sales Tax (UT, when nude people perform services)
149. Sewer & Water Tax
150. Social Security Tax
151. Sparkler and Novelties Tax (WV Sellers of Sparklers, etc)
152. Special Assessment Tax (Not Ad Valorem)
153. State Documentary Stamp Tax on Notes (FL RE Tax)
154. State Franchise Tax
155. State Income Tax
156. State Park Fees
157. State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
158. Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO) Fuel Tax
159. Stud Fees (Kentucky’s Thoroughbred Sex Tax)
160. Tangible Personal Property Tax
161. Tattoo Tax (AR Tax On Tattoos)
162. Telephone 911 Service Tax (some states)
163. Telephone Federal Excise Tax
164. Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
165. Telephone Federal Surcharge Taxes
166. Telephone State Surcharge Taxes
167. Telephone Local Surcharge Taxes
168. Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
169. Telephone Recurring Charges Tax
170. Telephone Universal Access Tax
171. Telephone Non-Recurring Charges Tax
172. Telephone State Usage Charge Tax
173. Telephone Local Usage Charge Tax
174. Tire Recycling Fee
175. Tobacco Tax (Cigar, Pipe, Consumer Tax)
176. Tobacco Tax (Cigar, Pipe, Dealer Tax)
177. Toll Road Taxes
178. Toll Bridge Taxes
179. Toll Tunnel Taxes
180. Tourism or Concession License Fee
181. Traffic Fines (Indirect Taxation)
182. Transportable Treatment Unit Fee (Small Facility)
183. Trailer Registration Tax
184. Trout Stamp (Addendum To Fish License)
185. Use Taxes (On Out-Of-State Purchases)
186. Utility Taxes
187. Unemployment Tax
188. Underground Storage Tank Maintenance Fee
189. Underpayment of Estimated Tax (Form 2210)
190. Unreported Tip Income (Social Security and Medicare Tax)
191. Vehicle License
192. Vehicle Recovery Tax (CO, to find stolen cars)
193. Vehicle Registration Tax
194. Vehicle Sales Tax
195. Wagering Tax (Tax on Gambling Winnings)
196. Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) Fuel Tax
197. Water Rights Fee
198. Watercraft Registration Tax
199. Waterfowl Stamp Tax
200. Well Permit Tax
201. Wiring Inspection Fees
202. Workers Compensation Tax

Submitted by harvey on February 23, 2011 - 6:19pm.

I agree with gandalf that our tax policy is biased to benefit a small percentage of people at the top, but the article cited in the OP really doesn't make a good case for this position.

The debate is important, but unfortunately the argument made by the article is flawed. It is far more useful to look at aggregates over time than it is to pick and choose some years where a particular corporation did not pay taxes.

On the other hand, filling an entire page with the names of various taxes doesn't really make for a meaningful rebuttal.

Perhaps we can all stand in agreement against pole taxes.

Submitted by surveyor on February 23, 2011 - 7:35pm.

pri_dk wrote:
On the other hand, filling an entire page with the names of various taxes doesn't really make for a meaningful rebuttal.

Assertion: "Businesses taxed too much? Not really..."

Rebuttal: A list of approximately 200 taxes businesses pay (a lot of which are not paid by individuals).

Conclusion: OWNED.

Submitted by gandalf on February 23, 2011 - 8:27pm.

ucodegen, appreciate the excellent remarks. Apologize if I get a bit abrasive from time to time. Mixing it up with the facist Fox News brown shirts brings out the best in all of us.

In truth, I don't know what the answer is. VAT? Flat? I know YOY valuation is impractical. Income is a decent approximation, if we could just tighten up the loopholes.

Definitely not a 'fair system' right now. Public finance is a mess, GOP is starving the beast, while billionaires and corporations within corps within corps play shell games with asset growth.

surveyor, what can I say? You lost your way a while ago. No ground control. You're a sad and empty soul parroting twisted talking points handed down from GOP apparatchiks. Feel free to cut-n-paste more drivel...

Submitted by surveyor on February 23, 2011 - 9:07pm.

Oh, gandalf, have we gotten to the name-calling already? It's not even page 2! That just proves to me that you've lost the argument.

You put this article out there, without any real analytical thinking, and you parrot the inane and superficial conclusions of that article without any questioning and proceed to demonize a whole segment of the population.

I, and others, have proceeded to utterly destroy your arguments and because of that, I'm sad? Because I put up a rebuttal? And even more you accuse me of parroting a party line?

As I've said many times, you can accuse me of being any sort of things, but it doesn't change the facts that I've put up.

And when you can't argue that, all you have is name-calling.

Submitted by gandalf on February 23, 2011 - 9:08pm.

tl;dr...

Submitted by SK in CV on February 23, 2011 - 10:56pm.

surveyor wrote:

I, and others, have proceeded to utterly destroy your arguments....

No, you haven't.

Submitted by ucodegen on February 25, 2011 - 2:23pm.

gandalf wrote:
In truth, I don't know what the answer is. VAT? Flat?

I would love a Flat/VAT tax (personally benefits me - though in reality, it would not be right.), but looking at that tax schedule above, people netting under $40-50k a year would pay quite a bit more in taxes. Those over $40-50k will pay less (the flat tax equivalent for the current in terms of government revenues was estimated at around 15% to 17%). VAT tax only taxes when someone spends. Basic survival costs are virtually the same for rich and poor - so VAT taxes are even more regressive than a flat tax. The percentage of income going to taxes will reduce with increasing income in a VAT tax system. - this is why Steve Forbes was proposing both of these. (snark)Britain has partial VAT tax .. and has a quasi landed 'aristocracy'. I wonder why the VAT (/snark).

gandalf wrote:
Definitely not a 'fair system' right now. Public finance is a mess, GOP is starving the beast, while billionaires and corporations within corps within corps play shell games with asset growth.

First, it has to be realized that taxing is just like pressing down on a balloon. Push down on one area and another pops up. If you tax a company too much, they will offshore. If you also tax their offshore income, they will move completely out of the country. There are several foreign countries which have almost no corporate taxes. The trick is to balance the company's desire to stay in-country with its desire to avoid taxes. Being within the United States has several advantages; educated workforce(generally), a workforce that tends to work instead of "mai phan rai"(sp) or mañana(generally), reliable power and water, low government graft-extortion(offset by being harder to bribe the gov), predictable environment(few revolutions, gov is not likely to seize assets just because). It is a tricky balance.

The rich don't game it through the offshore/shell game, etc methods. If you want to see how they do it, take a look at how Spanos and McMillin do it.
Spanos: gets a ticket guarantee at the stadium - not tied to performance of the team. He can they just choose the cheapest and not the best players. It was estimated that the city was kicking in around $3mil/yr on the guarantee. He then tries twisting the city's arm to get a stadium built for him (that he does not have to pay for, but gets the proceeds from) at the city's cost.
McMillin: effectively gets the deed to the Naval Training Center property(prime real-estate/land) for a song and gets to develop and profit from it. http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~cba/news/stor...

9th paragraph down. (can search on McMillin)
http://www.balboaparkhistory.net/glimpse...

More:
http://www.kpbs.org/news/2010/sep/17/dev...

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.