¿Por qué conceder una desgravación fiscal a las grandes empresas?

BERKELEY – El Presidente de los Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, ha pedido una recaudación suplementaria como parte de un plan equilibrado para reducir futuros déficits presupuestarios, pero también va a proponer un recorte importante en el tipo del impuesto de sociedades. Para muchos, ese planteamiento parece inconsecuente: ¿no se debería aumentar el tipo del impuesto de sociedades, en lugar de reducirlo, para que las grandes empresas hagan una contribución “justa” a la reducción del déficit? La respuesta es que no.

Después de su reforma fiscal de 1986, los Estados Unidos tenían uno de los tipos de impuesto de sociedades más bajos de los países de la OCDE. Desde entonces, esos países han ido reduciendo sus tipos impositivos para atraer inversión extranjera directa y disuadir a sus propias empresas de trasladar sus actividades y beneficios a países extranjeros con impuestos reducidos. La iniciativa más reciente y audaz ha sido la del Gobierno británico, que ha lanzado un plan trienal para reducir el tipo de su impuesto de sociedades del 28 por ciento al 20 por ciento –uno de los más bajos de la OCDE– de aquí a 2015.

Ahora los EE.UU. tienen el tipo más alto del impuesto de sociedades. Aun después de la aplicación de diversas deducciones, créditos y otras disposiciones encaminadas a reducirlos, los tipos medio y marginal del impuesto a las grandes empresas de los EE.UU. –lo que éstas pagan en realidad– son superiores a la media de la OCDE.

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