PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) conducted a survey of U.S. taxes paid by Business Roundtable member companies entitled, the "Total Tax Contribution Report." It was released back in 2009, and I found a few items very interesting:
1) Large companies are major contributors to U.S. tax revenues:
The 40 companies participating in the survey remitted $94 billion of taxes, of which $71 billion were attributable to federal taxes.
2) On average, survey participants needed a full-time team of 44 staff to comply with federal, state and local tax payment obligations.
U.S. tax compliance staffing is more than three times that in any other country surveyed.
3) The decentralized U.S. tax system is more complex than in any other country surveyed:
In addition to 30 federal taxes, companies are potentially liable for over 1,100 taxes imposed by the 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as local taxes too numerous to count due to the more than 89,000 local governmental entities in the United States.
Although state and local taxes account for only 24.5% of U.S. taxes borne and collected, companies spend 41.7% of their compliance budget on these taxes. Per dollar of tax remitted, compliance costs for state and local taxes are more than double that for federal taxes.
I obviously found this last point very interesting and to be true in my own experience. It has always seemed that state and local tax has been the "ugly step-child" to its federal tax counterparts in corporate tax departments. Yet, it is extremely complex and burdensome to keep a company in compliance with so many different jurisdictions and very little, if any, uniformity among state and local tax laws.
Do you think these same points apply today in 2016?