Business income taxes, both corporate and noncorporate, are a significant portion of federal tax revenue. Businesses also play a crucial role in collecting taxes from individuals, through withholding and information reporting. However, the design of the current system of business taxation is widely seen as flawed. It distorts investment decisions, hurting the performance of the economy. Its complexity imposes planning and record keeping costs, facilitates tax shelters, and provides potential cover for those who want to cheat. Not surprisingly, business tax reform is part of the debate about overall tax reform. The debate is occurring at a time when long-range projections show that, without a policy change, the gap between spending and revenues will widen. This testimony reviews the nation's long term fiscal imbalance and what is wrong with the current system of business taxation and provides some principles that ought to guide the debate about business tax reform. This statement is based on previously published GAO work and reviews of relevant literature.
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