Where Companies Pay the Most and Least

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Where Companies Pay the Most and Least

By Leona Liu

Governments worldwide are cracking down on companies evading corporate taxes. That's particularly true in the U.S., where President Barack Obama aims to prevent multinationals from shielding their profits in subsidiaries located in low-tax countries such as the Cayman Islands. (Not just corporate taxes are at stake: Some European countries also are increasing tax rates on top individual earners in an attempt to fill budget gaps left by dwindling economic activity.)

In response, corporations are voting with their feet. Google already has moved its European headquarters from Britain to Switzerland, and McDonald's will follow suit before the end of 2009. At least a dozen U.S. companies, including Tyco International, Noble, and Ingersoll-Rand have proposed reincorporating in countries with lower corporate taxes to avoid handing over more cash to the government.

But which countries offer the best—and worst—rates of corporate income tax? Click on to see how a selection of member countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) and the so-called BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) nations rate, ranked in descending order by corporate income tax rates.

Sources: Corporate income tax rate figures from by KPMG. Estimated 2009 gross domestic product growth/decline figures from the OECD and the World Bank (where stated). Unemployment rates from the International Monetary Fund. Competitiveness Ranking from the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010, the results of which can be seen here.