Friday, January 9, 2015

US Has Fewest Number Of Taxable Corporations (C Corporations) Since 1974

From Tax Foundation, "America’s Shrinking Corporate Sector" by William McBride:
Recently released IRS data shows that there were 1.6 million C corporations in 2011. This is the lowest number of traditional corporations since 1974 and 1 million fewer than there were at the peak in 1986. In other words, in every year since 1986, roughly 40,000 U.S. corporations have disappeared from the tax rolls. However, the losses have accelerated since 2006 to a rate of about 60,000 per year. (See Figure 1.)

Source: Tax Foundation

Corporate inversions, of which there were only fourteen in 2014, can explain only a tiny number of these losses. As Figure 1 shows, the decline of the traditional corporate sector has generally coincided with the rise of the pass-through sector, comprised of businesses such as partnerships and S corporations that pass profits to owners who report them on their individual tax returns. Pass-through businesses are subject to just one layer of tax, the individual income tax, while C corporations face double taxation due to the corporate tax and shareholder taxes on dividends and capital gains.

Pass-through businesses have grown dramatically since 1986 such that more than 90 percent of U.S. businesses are now pass-through entities. [Footnotes omitted.]

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