El dilema del impuesto a las empresas

BERKELEY - Los Estados Unidos ahora tiene la mayor tasa tributaria a los ingresos corporativos de entre los países desarrollados. Incluso después de varias deducciones, créditos y otros beneficios impositivos, la tasa marginal efectiva (la que las corporaciones pagan sobre las nuevas inversiones estadounidenses) sigue siendo una de las más altas del mundo.

En un mundo de movilidad del capital, los impuestos a las empresas importan, y las decisiones empresariales sobre cómo y dónde invertir son cada vez más sensibles a las diferencias nacionales. La tasa relativamente alta de Estados Unidos anima a sus empresas a localizar su inversión, producción y empleo en países extranjeros, y desalienta a las empresas extranjeras a instalarse en EE.UU., implicando con ello un crecimiento más lento, menos puestos de trabajo, pequeños aumentos de la productividad y salarios reales más bajos.

Según la creencia popular, la carga tributaria de las empresas recae principalmente sobre los dueños del capital en forma de rendimientos más bajos. Pero, como el capital se ha vuelto más móvil, los trabajadores relativamente inmóviles deben padecer esta carga en mayor medida, en forma de salarios más bajos y menos oportunidades de empleo. Por eso los países de todo el mundo han estado recortando sus tasas de impuestos corporativos. La "carrera hacia el fondo" resultante refleja la intensificación de la competencia mundial por el capital y los conocimientos tecnológicos para apoyar el empleo y los salarios locales.

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