More Evidence in Favor of Keeping Tax Rates Low on Investment

By February 9, 2012Taxation

As each day goes by, manufacturers across the country are eyeing ever more warily the “perfect storm” of tax increases that will take effect at the end of this year if Congress doesn’t act to stop them. The need to extend one particular tax benefit – which reduced and paired the tax rate on savings and investment – in current law is highlighted in a new study released today by the Alliance for Savings and Investment. This coalition of dividend paying companies, investor organizations and trade associations – including the NAM – fights for a continuation of these policies that promote economic growth and job creation by fostering private savings and investment. In a nutshell the study finds that:

Taking into account both the corporate and investor level taxes on corporate profits and state level taxes, the United States has among the highest integrated tax rates among developed countries and these integrated tax rates will rise sharply in 2013:

  • The current top US integrated dividend tax rate of 50.8 percent will rise to 68.6 percent in 2013, significantly higher than in all other OECD and BRIC countries.
  • The current top US integrated capital gains tax rate of 50.8 percent will rise to 56.7 percent in 2013, the second highest among OECD and BRIC countries.

The reduced tax rate on capital gains and dividends was enacted in 2003 as part of an effort to reduce the burden of double taxation on corporate profits while also synchronizing the tax rates on dividends and capital gains in an effort to eliminate any bias for one type of investment over another.

Although obvious to the astute observer, it is essential that in this debate – and in any debate about corporate tax policy – one remember that capital is more mobile in today’s world than ever before and tax policy can go a long way to influence decision making of investors both on the individual and the institutional level.

The NAM has long held that an important objective of long-term tax policy is to maintain competitive tax rates that are low enough to attract the capital formation and investment necessary to ensure durable economic growth – making permanent the synchronized, lower rates on capital gains and dividends is essential to that task.

Carolyn Lee

Carolyn Lee

Senior Director of Tax Policy at National Association of Manufacturers
Carolyn Lee is Senior Director of Tax Policy at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the nation's largest industrial trade association. In this role Carolyn is responsible for portions of the NAM's tax portfolio including issues individual marginal tax rates - which are a top priority for small and medium sized manufacturers - as well tax issues relating to investment income, energy efficiency and capital cost recovery.
Carolyn Lee

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