Sunday, June 20, 2010

While Obama Fiddles, Ukraine and Taiwan Reduce Corporate Tax Burdens

The United States has the world's worst corporate tax system, with a job-killing tax rate of about 40 percent. In the European Union, the average rate is about 25 percent, but that's just one part of the world that is moving in the right direction. My Cato colleague recently did a blog post about Taiwan's politicians lowering that nation's corporate tax rate to 17 percent. Now is reporting that Ukraine's government is doing something similar, reducing the corporate tax rate from 25 percent to 17 percent.

Ukraine’s new Prime Minister, Mykola Azarov has announced his government’s intention, in a revised tax code, to slash the country’s corporate income tax rate starting 2011, and then further on a transitional basis through 2014 to enhance the nation’s economic performance and fiscal attractiveness. According to the Prime Minister, the corporate income tax will be cut from 25% to 20% in 2011, and cut 1% annually from then on, until 2014 when the rate will stand at 17%. The Value Added Tax is to also to be reduced on a progressive basis over a similar timescale. Explaining the government’s methodology, Azarov was quoted by the national radio station NCRU as saying: “This innovative document is a real tax reform that will improve the investment climate in Ukraine and will improve the nation’s attractiveness for conducting business.”
It's worth noting that a low corporate tax rate is not a silver bullet for an economy with other bad policies. Ukraine has one of the world's most repressive economies, so reducing the corporate tax rate is just one of many reforms that is needed. But, all other things being equal, lower tax rates always are a good idea.

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