Republicans and teahadists are fond of proclaiming that the United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Of course this is not true. While the US has a graduated corporate income tax rate starting at 0% and rising to 35%, many other countries have corporate rates of 35% or higher. Japan, for example, has a corporate tax rate of 40.69% and unlike the US rates, Japan's is not even graduated.
The real question, though, is how much is a nation's effective tax rate for corporations? An effective tax rate is the actual rate that companies pay after credits and other subtractions from the book rate (up to 35% in the case of the US) that would otherwise be paid.
Another way of looking at taxes is by assessing how much of the nation's total tax burden is paid by each group that pays taxes. CNN has an interesting chart in an otherwise poorly reasoned article that shows just how much US corporations paid in federal taxes during the first half of fiscal year 2011. Calculated as a percentage, the answer is not much. US corporations paid only 5.3% of all taxes collected in those 6 months.
Here is the link to the article and chart: Federal Revenue Sources: 6 Month Snapshot
So the next time you hear a winger claiming that American corporations are paying the highest corporate tax rate in the world, simply point out that the actual amount corporations pay is barely over 5%. Then, contrast that with corporate tax payments of more than 30% of Federal revenues in the 1950s, a time universally acknowledged as excellent for both workers and corporations. Makes you wonder if lower corporate tax rates are such a good idea after all.