A Modern Corporate Tax


Released: December 2010 • Discussion Paper

Related Topics: Tax Policy


  • Alan J. AuerbachRobert D. Burch Professor of Law and Economics; Director, Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance, University of California, Berkeley

The U.S. corporate tax system introduced more than 100 years ago has not kept pace with changes to the economy. The growing role of financial innovation and the increasingly global nature of U.S. corporate operations are chief among these changes, necessitating reform. This paper proposes two reforms to the U.S. corporate tax system: first, an immediate deduction for all investments that would replace the current system of depreciation allowances, and second, replacing the current approach to taxing foreign-source income with a system that ignores all transactions except those occurring exclusively in the United States. These changes would eliminate existing incentives to borrow and shift profits abroad while maintaining the corporate tax as a progressive revenue source.

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