Summary
A corporate tax, also called corporation tax or company tax, is a type of direct tax levied on the income or capital of corporations and other similar legal entities. The tax is usually imposed at the national level, but it may also be imposed at state or local levels in some countries. Corporate taxes may be referred to as income tax or capital tax, depending on the nature of the tax. The purpose of corporate tax is to generate revenue for the government by taxing the profits earned by corporations. The tax rate varies from country to country and is usually calculated as a percentage of the corporation's net income or capital. Corporate tax rates may also differ for domestic and foreign corporations. Many countries have tax laws that require corporations to pay taxes on their worldwide income, regardless of where the income is earned. However, some countries have territorial tax systems, which only require corporations to pay taxes on income earned within the country's borders. A country's corporate tax may apply to: corporations incorporated in the country, corporations doing business in the country on income from that country, foreign corporations who have a permanent establishment in the country, or corporations deemed to be resident for tax purposes in the country. Company income subject to tax is often determined much like taxable income for individual taxpayers. Generally, the tax is imposed on net profits. In some jurisdictions, rules for taxing companies may differ significantly from rules for taxing individuals. Certain corporate acts or types of entities may be exempt from tax. The incidence of corporate taxation is a subject of significant debate among economists and policymakers. Evidence suggests that some portion of the corporate tax falls on owners of capital, workers, and shareholders, but the ultimate incidence of the tax is an unresolved question. Economists disagree as to how much of the burden of the corporate tax falls on owners, workers, consumers, and landowners, and how the corporate tax affects economic growth and economic inequality.
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