Corporate tax doesn’t have to be a “race to the bottom”
Jun 1, 2021
Episode 444

Corporate tax doesn’t have to be a “race to the bottom”

The Biden administration wants to set a global minimum tax on corporations at 15%. On today's show, we'll talk about how it might work.

Let’s talk about a “global corporate minimum tax”… stay with us here.

You might remember our episode on the tax gap, the billions unpaid by some of the richest Americans. Better enforcement of the existing tax law could yield big returns, but that’s just for individuals. Corporations pay taxes too — that is, when they aren’t parking their money in overseas tax havens.

Since the ’80s, governments have slashed corporate taxes to compete for those dollars, leading to what Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has called a “race to the bottom.” The Biden administration is hoping to remove some of that incentive with a tax floor. It could reshape how money moves between multinational companies and governments and, more urgently for the White House, help pay for an ambitious infrastructure plan.

On today’s show, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center senior fellow Thornton Matheson talks us through who benefits from the tax trends of the past 30 years, which countries are on board with Joe Biden’s proposed 15% minimum and the chances of it actually happening.

Later on, we’ll do a little media soul-searching around tennis star Naomi Osaka and journalist Emily Wilder, and hear from a listener who’s hearing a lot of cicadas right now. Plus, did you know there’s a difference between a possum and an opossum? The wonders never cease.

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The team

Marissa Cabrera Senior Producer
Bridget Bodnar Senior Producer
Tony Wagner Digital Producer