Tax Day 2018: A Bonanza for Corporations and the Military

NPP Pressroom

Lindsay Koshgarian

The IRS is projected to gather roughly $1.6 trillion in individual income taxes this year, and these taxes will make up almost half of the revenue of the federal government for 2017.

By comparison, corporations are expected to pay $297 billion in federal income taxes. Individuals will contribute five times as much in income taxes to the federal government as corporations do.

It wasn't always this way. Corporations used to pay more income taxes than individuals did. In 1943, for example, corporations contributed 40 percent of federal revenues, compared to just 9 percent today.

What happened?

Throughout the last half of the 20th century, individual income tax revenues kept growing. Corporate income taxes didn't keep the pace, growing much more slowly than individual income tax revenues. The corporate tax rate declined from over 50 percent in the 1950s to 35 percent as of 2017.

The failure of corporate tax contributions to keep up with individual income taxes is even more egregious considering that corporate profits are at historically high levels. According to an analysis from the Economic Policy Institute, corporate profits were 5.5 percent of the national economy in 1952, compared to 9.5 percent in 2017.

Meanwhile, the federal government's shift away from taxing corporations is about to become even more extreme in the coming year, now that Trump's tax plan has taken effect and funds even more corporate giveaways in the 2018 tax year.

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