Monday, March 11, 2013

If corporations are people, tax them like people

When I lived in Europe, as a U.S. citizen I had to file and pay U.S. income taxes.  I received credit for any foreign taxes I paid.  If I paid more foreign taxes than I would have paid for the same salary in the U.S., Univac reimbursed me for the difference.  Of course, that reimbursement was also taxable in the U.S.

I think this still holds.

However, a U.S. company doesn't pay any taxes on its foreign earnings unless it brings the money back to the U.S.

If a corporation is a person, then it should pay taxes like a person.  If a corporation is not a person, then it should not be able to indulge in "political speech".

But if this leads to justification for not paying taxes, then consider that the corporation uses a lot of infra-structure paid for by taxes.  Should not a corporation pay for the roads that it depends on for moving goods and people?  Should not a corporation pay for the court system that it uses to sue others: corporations and people?  Should not a corporation pay for the military that protects its interests around the world?

Is this effort to avoid corporate taxes another instance of the deception and oppression of the public that Adam Smith warned about?  See "The Invisible Adam Smith".