Monday, November 28, 2011
Wall Street Journal editorial, America the Difficult: In Tax Compliance, the U.S. Ranks 69 of 183 Nations
Debating taxation is all the rage these days, and not a moment too soon. A report released this month exposes some unpleasant truths about America's uncompetitive system for taxing businesses.
The Paying Taxes 2012 study, produced by the World Bank, International Finance Corp. and PricewaterhouseCoopers, ranks countries based on the ease or difficulty of paying business taxes. The Maldives came in first, followed by Qatar and Hong Kong. America clocks in at 69 out of 183 countries, down one spot from last year and 23 places shy of its finish in 2009.
This survey offers a more detailed analysis of tax policy than does the World Bank's annual Doing Business survey, to which it's a complement. It measures compliance costs such as hours spent filling out forms in addition to tax rates to weigh the full tax burden on companies. ...
America's decline in the rankings is attributable to tax-policy stagnation as other countries reform their own revenue codes. Already a notably complex system with the second-highest corporate tax rate in the world after Japan, the U.S. tax code appears ever more cumbersome compared to countries that grow simpler and cheaper by the year.