U.S. Tax Revenues Among Lowest in Survey

A new report says corporate taxpayers continue to find ways to pay less in taxes, leaving individuals to pick up the tab.

U.S. Tax Revenues Among Lowest in Survey Photo (cc) by 401(K) 2013

Government tax revenues from corporations have been falling while those from individuals have risen since the global economic crisis, a new report shows.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s latest annual Revenue Statistics publication found that from 2007 to 2014, average revenues from corporate incomes and gains fell from 3.6 percent to 2.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

On the other hand, revenues from individual income tax grew from 8.8 percent to 8.9 percent of GDP.

Pascal Saint-Amans, director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, explains in an OECD news release:

“Corporate taxpayers continue finding ways to pay less, while individuals end up footing the bill.

“The great majority of all tax rises seen since the crisis have fallen on individuals through higher social security contributions, value-added taxes and income taxes. This underlines the urgency of efforts to ensure that corporations pay their fair share.”

The OECD is made up of 34 nations — including the world’s most advanced countries as well as some developing countries — and seeks to improve economic and social well-being worldwide.

Among OECD countries, the United States had one of the lowest total tax revenues as a percentage of GDP in 2014 — 26 percent compared with the OECD average of 34.4 percent — as a CNN Money illustration about the OECD report shows.

Thirty of the countries in the OECD have higher total tax revenues as a percentage of GDP than the United States. Denmark’s 50.9 percent was the highest last year. Only Korea, Chile and Mexico had lower percentages than the United States.

What’s your take on taxes on corporations compared with those on individuals? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More


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