Go to the Web site of any publicly traded profit-making corporation — e.g., the Hospital Corporation of America — and click on the tab “Investor Relations.”
You will find tabs for annual reports to shareholders and the mandatory filings made to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Among them are 10-K’s, annual reports that are detailed and audited. There is also great detail on the criteria by which executive performance is evaluated by the board of directors, along with dollar figures of actual compensation paid.
Is there anything like this transparency and public accountability in the nonprofit sector? Indeed, who actually owns these entities? To whom do they render account for the sizable real resources and finances under their control? And what benefits do they deliver in return for the exemption from income taxation they enjoy?
Let’s get rid of the corporate income tax entirely.
No, really, hear me out. The corporate income tax is the source of almost all the tax-dodging activity in America. This activity is extremely expensive, and millions of valuable man-hours are diverted into it…
Why not get rid of the tax, and the tax avoidance, by radically simplifying the tax code? Eliminate the corporate income tax — and then also eliminate the special rates for capital gains and dividends. Tax all income once, progressively, when it’s realized by a person.
More from Megan McArdle.
What happens if you don’t pay your taxes? People who commit tax fraud can face big fines and even imprisonment. Then there is this:
Depending on where you live, if you shirk on your taxes, you might:
- have your medical or law license suspended;
- be denied a hunting or fishing license;
- have your passport revoked;
- have your driver’s license suspended, and your renewal of your vehicle registration denied;
- be deported;
- be denied housing assistance;
- be barred from a government contract and government employment;
- have your liquor license revoked (if you’re a restaurant).
And perhaps most crushingly, you can:
- be denied the right to operate a concession, ride or booth at Minnesota’s annual state fair.