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Corporate Tax

April 20, 2011 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
U.S. corporations have enjoyed a two-year bull run on Wall Street. They are sitting on a record amount of cash and are back to paying bonuses that are the envy of executives around the world. And the icing on the cake for many of them might be just around the corner: a tax cut that has bipartisan support in Congress. As part of their budget plan passed last week, House Republicans want to cut the corporate tax rate to 25% from 35%. The Obama administration and many Democrats also are looking to slice the current rate, but not as much.
April 1, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
Forget about jazz; the true indigenous American art form is the tax dodge. Today brings us (courtesy of Sen. Carl Levin's subcommittee on investigations) an impressively elegant example from Caterpillar Inc. Elegant and lucrative too: Levin's committee says Cat's maneuver has saved it $2.4 billion in taxes since 2000. On the downside, the company had to pay PricewaterhouseCoopers, which cooked up the dodge as Caterpillar's tax consultant and also approved it as Caterpillar's corporate auditing firm (this is known as one hand shaking the other)
February 22, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera
President Obama wants to significantly lower the top corporate income tax rate to 28% as part of a broad overhaul that would raise an additional $250 billion from businesses over the next decade by eliminating many loopholes and other breaks, according to a senior administration official. Full details of the administration's long-awaited corporate tax reform plan will be released later Wednesday morning by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, touching off an election year debate about how much corporations should pay in taxes.
March 25, 2014 | By Seema Mehta
Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari unveiled a jobs plan Tuesday that calls for corporate tax breaks, hydraulic fracturing of some California oil deposits, reduced regulations on business and increased spending on water storage. The 10-point plan, focused on manufacturing, water, energy and the business climate, is the first policy Kashkari has set forth since announcing in January that he would run for office. The former U.S. Treasury official said his plan would "unleash" the private sector, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.
May 5, 1985
In 1984, President Reagan's 1981 tax cuts resulted in corporations paying the lowest average tax rates in 50 years--22%, compared to 34% in 1981, 43.8% in 1980 and 40% in the 1960s and 1970s, the Congressional Budget Office said. The report called the corporate tax system "seriously deficient" in the goals of raising revenue simply, fairly and efficiently.
February 22, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera and Kathleen Hennessey, Los Angeles Times
President Obama's proposal to lower the corporate tax rate to 28% from 35% shows a growing consensus in Washington that many companies need to pay less in taxes for the U.S. to stay competitive globally. But exactly how to do that - and which companies should pay more to make up the difference - remains elusive in a volatile election year. Democrats and Republicans have starkly different ideas about how far to lower corporate tax rates and whether changes to individual tax rates, including the Bush-era cuts that expire at the end of the year, should be part of the reform debate.
December 25, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Amid the wrangling over the so-called fiscal cliff, President Obama and congressional Republicans can agree on something: They want to lower the corporate tax rate. The U.S. has the highest overall rate of any of the world's developed economies. It took the top spot in March after Japan reduced its rate, mimicking other countries that have lowered taxes to lure new businesses and keep existing companies from leaving. Negotiations to avert automatic income tax increases and federal spending cuts scheduled to kick in Jan. 1 could provide the impetus for U.S. policymakers to tackle an overhaul of the corporate tax code next year.
April 11, 2004 | James Flanigan
A fuse was lighted under the old tax reform bonfire last week when the Government Accounting Office reported that 60% of U.S. corporations didn't pay a penny in taxes on their income from 1996 to 2000. That wasn't exactly a bolt out of the blue for most Americans. Maybe it was a surprise to some that the corporations didn't commit any crimes, but just engaged in some complicated and counterproductive -- to the Treasury, at least -- sheltering transactions.
October 8, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
The House passed the most sweeping rewrite of corporate tax law in nearly two decades, a measure designed to end a nasty trade war with Europe and shower nearly $140 billion in new tax breaks on businesses, farmers and other groups. The measure was approved on a 280-141 vote, sending it to the Senate, where it was expected to be approved today.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down a California corporate tax law dating to 1936, declaring that the rule imposed unfair levies on companies headquartered in other states. California officials estimate that the ruling will force the state to pay as much as $95 million overall in refunds for past years. They said the high court's decision also will reduce future corporate income tax revenue by $13 million to $15 million annually.
December 30, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer
As 2013 comes to a close, so will dozens of tax breaks that save companies billions of dollars in tax liability. Congress has allowed 55 tax breaks to expire but will likely restore many of them, retroactively, in the coming months, the Associated Press reported.  In years past, the breaks have expired only to be restored in the months to come. “It's a totally ridiculous way to run our tax system,” Rachelle Bernstein, vice president of the National Retail Federation, told the AP. “It's impossible to plan when every year this happens, but yet business has gotten used to that.” PHOTOS: Most affordable zip codes for home buyers Some of the tax breaks are big, including billions in credits for research and development, generous exemptions for banks that operate overseas and several that allow businesses to write off capital investments faster.
July 3, 2013 | By Yuri Vanetik
The May jobs report shows that the American economy added 175,000 positions. Positive employment growth is welcome news, of course. But May's gains weren't big enough to make a dent in the national joblessness rate, which actually ticked up to 7.6%. Meanwhile, revenue at most U.S. companies continues to grow as firms expand operations and accumulate capital. Yet this progress hasn't precipitated a proportional expansion in hiring. This lag has long been a source of frustration on Capitol Hill.
May 31, 2013
Re "Apple's tax tricks give occasion for lousy reform ideas," Column, May 19 Michael Hiltzik concludes his column by urging that the corporate income tax not be abolished because "what they don't pay, you will. " This ignores the reality that we already do pay the tax. As with the non-corporate entities he cites, corporations serve as tax collectors, passing on the tax liability to consumers (in the form of higher prices), employees (through lower wages) and shareholders (through smaller dividends)
May 28, 2013 | Michael Hiltzik
Apple Inc.'s success at avoiding billions of dollars in U.S. taxes through some (apparently) legal maneuvers has tax pundits pointing their guns at the corporate tax system. The case has revived numerous hoary cures for the supposed evil of corporate taxes. The cures include abolishing the corporate tax altogether, turning it into a pure "territorial" system that taxes multinational firms only in proportion to the income generated within the United States, declaring a tax "holiday" allowing businesses to repatriate cash parked overseas (where it is taxed at vanishingly small rates, like Apple's)
May 23, 2013 | By Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times
LONDON - European leaders fired a warning shot in the battle against multinational companies that exploit loopholes or set up complicated schemes to minimize their tax bills, calling for collective action to thwart such practices. Britain, France and Germany are pushing for the European Union's 27 member nations to share financial intelligence and cooperate on other steps to crack down on corporate tax avoidance, which has emerged as a hot-button political issue on both sides of the Atlantic.
May 22, 2013 | By Henry Chu
LONDON -- European leaders gathered in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss how to clamp down on multinational companies that exploit loopholes or set up complex accounting schemes to lower their tax bills. Taking on an issue that has also become prominent in the United States, countries such as Britain, France and Germany are pushing for the European Union's 27 member states to share financial information and take other collective action to curb corporate tax avoidance. In recent months, Google, Amazon and Starbucks, among other companies, have been the targets of criticism in Europe for allegedly trying to pay as little tax as possible.
September 7, 2012 | By Edward D. Kleinbard
For citizens hoping for serious tax policy and budget debates, this has been a dispiriting election cycle. One party urges tax rates too low to support any plausible platform from which government can deliver the services we all expect. Those are the Democrats. The other party inhabits a realm of fantasy akin to Erewhon, the fictional land created by the 19th century satirist Samuel Butler. In Erewhon, Butler wrote, "If a man has made a fortune … they exempt him from all taxation, considering him as a work of art, and too precious to be meddled with; they say, 'How very much he must have done for society before society could have been prevailed upon to give him so much money.'" INTERACTIVE: Outside spending shapes 2012 election It is a pity that Republicans do not appreciate that Butler was writing ironically.
May 6, 2009
President Obama roiled the business community Monday by proposing to hike taxes on income generated outside the United States. The changes, which supposedly would close loopholes and remove incentives to export jobs and investment, would bring an estimated $210 billion to the Treasury over the next decade. We're all for closing loopholes and ending tax shelters that enable the wealthy to hide income.
March 20, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- If the world's major economies had a competition like the NCAA basketball tournament, the U.S. would enter as the No. 1 seed -- but a leading business group said the nation's corporate tax policies would get it bounced in the first round. The Business Roundtable is using the start of March Madness this week to push Washington to reduce corporate tax rates. The group has created an interactive, 16-nation bracket to compare the countries' corporate tax policies. Despite being seeded No. 1 because of the size of its economy, the U.S. gets upset by No. 16 Norway.
February 27, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Economic times are tough, but more Americans -- nearly 9 in 10 -- say it is "not at all acceptable" for people to cheat on their income taxes, according to a 2012 survey by the Internal Revenue Service. The 87% figure was up 3 percentage points from the 2011 Taxpayer Attitude Survey, conducted by the IRS Oversight Board, an independent panel that tries to help the agency better serve the public. Just 11% of respondents said it was acceptable to cheat on their income taxes, either "a little here and there" or "as much as possible.
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