Speed Reads

still wrong

Trump continues to falsely claim America is 'the highest taxed nation in the world'

President Trump is traveling to North Dakota on Wednesday, where he will visit an Andeavor oil refinery to discuss tax reform. "We are the highest taxed nation in the world," Trump added to this announcement on Twitter, an entirely false statement that he has made at least three times:

"By all metrics we looked at, the United States is far from the most taxed nation overall and for businesses," wrote Politifact while correcting this assertion in May.

Part of the confusion might come from the fact that it is "generally true" that the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the world, "though many businesses end up paying far less than the statutory rate," NPR reports:

[A] couple of other places beat out the U.S., outside of OECD countries. According to the right-leaning Tax Foundation, the U.S. comes in third out of 188, behind the United Arab Emirates and Puerto Rico. (Tax Foundation's list includes some U.S. territories.)

However, it's not quite that simple. Those rates above are the statutory rates — the rates set by law. And that is not the rate that many companies in the U.S. end up paying. Deductions and credits help push down businesses' total tax liability, meaning that many companies end up paying far less than the statutory rate. [NPR]

When it comes to tax revenue as a percentage of GDP, the United States in 2012 (the last year with complete data) did not even break the top 30 countries in the world, Politifact adds. In another study, which analyzed the total tax burden of a hypothetical company around the world, the United States placed 64 out of 189.

"That's lower than the rates the company would have paid in the two countries Trump says the United States loses to, China (67.8 percent) and Mexico (51.7 percent)," Politifact writes. "Moreover, it's nowhere near the top."