Upgrading the Tax System | Business Roundtable


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Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies working to promote sound public policy and a thriving U.S. economy.

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Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies working to promote a thriving economy and expanded opportunity for all Americans through sound public policy.

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Upgrading the Tax System

Tax reform for all businesses is fundamental to strengthening the U.S. economy and ensuring that American workers and American companies can successfully compete around the globe. A modernized U.S. tax system with competitive tax rates and competitive international tax rules would promote growth through greater investment, higher wages and more jobs in the United States. 


Key Components for Tax Reform

Setting the Corporate Tax Rate at a Competitive Level


The statutory corporate rate in the United States is 35 percent, and the average combined (federal and state) rate is 39 percent. Our OECD competitors have a combined average rate of 24.6 percent. Given this wide disparity, there is bipartisan agreement that America’s current corporate rate is anti-competitive and needs to come down. A competitive tax rate for corporations would make the United States a more attractive location for business investment from both American and foreign companies, helping to create jobs and drive economic growth. Offsetting the revenue loss of the corporate rate reduction will require base broadening, such as elimination or modification of tax credits and deductions.

Adopting a Modern International Tax System


Every independent U.S. advisory board, working group and federal agency tasked with reviewing and proposing corporate tax reform options has recommended that the United States move toward a more modern and competitive international tax system. Transitioning from the uniquely uncompetitive “worldwide” system to a modern international tax system would end the U.S. taxation of U.S. corporations’ active foreign earnings above and beyond foreign taxes paid and permanently remove the penalty for returning foreign earnings to the United States, thereby aligning the U.S. system with the tax systems of our major trading partners. Reform of the U.S. international tax system should be accompanied by appropriate safeguards to protect America’s tax base, consistent with the rules of our major trading partners.

Making U.S. Tax Policy Permanent


Tax reform should be permanent to support long-term business decisions and commitments that allow for capital investment and consistent hiring of American workers.

Tax Reform Will Drive Jobs and Growth in
Every State

A recent Business Roundtable study shows that globally engaged U.S. companies deliver high-wage jobs and increased economic opportunity in communities across the United States. These companies would invest more, grow faster and increase hiring with tax modernization that levels the playing field for American businesses and workers.

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  • Benefits of International Trade

    The map description.: 
    International Trade and investment supports jobs and economic growth in every state, and now supports an estimated 41 million American jobs. U.S. trade-related employment grew three and a half times faster than total U.S. employment between 2004 and 2014.
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  • The United States Benefits from Globally Engaged Companies

    The map description.: 
    Globally engaged U.S. companies create jobs, pay higher wages and increase economic growth in every U.S. state and the District of Columbia. For the United States as a whole, U.S. globally engaged companies directly employed 23.3 million American workers in 2013, the most recent year for which data are available, and paid average annual compensation of $78,000, which is 40 percent higher than the average $56,000 annual compensation paid to workers employed by other U.S. businesses.
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