American businesses face high tax rates, but in reality pay less.
"Topping out at 35 percent," writes David Kocieniewski in today's New York Times, "America's official corporate income tax rate trails that of only Japan, at 39.5 percent, which has said it plans to lower its rate."
The U.S. tax rate is nearly triple Ireland's and 10 percentage points higher than in Denmark, Austria or China.
But, as the Times' series title notes, "nobody pays that."
Thanks to the many breaks and loopholes in the U.S. tax code for corporate taxpayers, companies here pay only slightly more on average than similarly situated businesses elsewhere in the world.
That's probably why in a recent New York Times/CBS News poll on the deficit and taxes, 56 percent of respondents said American companies pay less than their fair share.
That perception, however, is not enough for those surveyed to support increased taxes on corporations. Most want to cut federal spending rather than raise business taxes.
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