Comments on economics, mystery fiction, drama, and art.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

My corporate income tax proposal

I've been advocating one simple, if radical, reform corporate income taxation for decades.

1) Attribute all net corporate income to shareholders in proportion to their share holdings. For example, in 2016. WalMart had earnings per share (net income) of $4.56. If I own 10,000 shares of WalMart stock, then I have an attributed income of $45,600. Which is, for me, taxable income. Jim C. Walton--Sam's grandson--owned 10.5 million shares in 2016. So his attributed income would be $47.88 million--taxable.

2) Expense capital spending.  If a corporation purchases $50 million in new capital during the years, that's treated as a current expense.  Depreciation, as a tax issue goes away.
3) Eliminate the corporate income tax.

This would discourage the piling up of huge cash resources in the hands of corporations and encourage dividend payments.  After all, the shareholders own the corporation, so the earnings of the corporation are, in some sense, theirs...

And, incidentally, this actually would encourage new capital spending, because that would reduce the net income.

The probability of this happening, as a friend used to say, approaches zero from below.


Post a Comment

<< Home