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 Corporate personhood and business taxes

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Thrasymachus
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PostSubject: Corporate personhood and business taxes   Tue Jun 28, 2016 1:01 pm

I don't think we should be taxing business income (as it is now, profits) for two reasons: 1) that a business is not a person and shouldn't be seen as if it were a person or individual entity with income and taxes, and 2) that when you tax business income usually the business just raises its prices to compensate, thus passing on most of the cost of taxes to the consumer.

I think that a business should be seen as a property of whoever owns that business, and therefore all business income should be treated as personal income for those owners. We should revoke corporate charters of personhood for businesses, and instead write charters that state clearly that all owners of the business also own that business's total capital and income. Whatever those owners choose to do with that income is up to them, they can reinvest it in the business or pay themselves more salary and dividends, but the bottom line is that a business is nothing more than a property extension of whoever owns the business; this includes all income to the business.

If Apple receives annual income then all of that income should be seen as direct income to whoever owns Apple, including shareholders, and proportionally based on the proportions of ownership. If the income is used to reinvest in the business or to pay employee salaries that is fine; but all of the owners should be given a tax bill for their share of that total income, regardless of how it is used. Otherwise it's like the owners get all the benefits of owning this capital of the business itself without needing to pay any taxes for it.

Let's say Joe owns 100 shares of Apple stock, and there are a total of 5.5 billion shares of Apple stock out there. Joe owns 0.000000018% of Apple, which means he should be taxes as his personal income of that percentage of Apple's total income, which if Apple made $75 billion in income then Joe owes taxes on $1,350 extra to his other income from other sources; so if he is taxed at %25 rate he owes $337.50 in taxes. If Tim Cook owns 950,000 shares of Apple stock then his personal income from Apple is $12,750,000 so if he is taxed at a rate of %50 then he owns $6,375,000 in taxes.

Maybe this needs to be tweaked a bit, because the individual owners don't directly gain cash income from their being owners except as dividends, salaries if they are employees also, or if they sell that stock. The income to Apple isn't directly sourced to all owners but is stored in corporate coffers and accounts; but then again much of the income an average person makes isn't sourced directly to them either, they also use it in costs of "expenses", from paying for food and bills and utilities etc. I don't have access to the income I make that goes directly to paying bills, just as Joe doesn't have access to the income from Apple that goes directly to paying the operating costs of running Apple, but since I am still taxed on my total income regardless of how it is spent, Joe should be taxed on his total income also regardless. But there could be some kind of tax credits in place for me and Joe based on the amount of our incomes that we pay to "operating costs" (my bills, or Apple's bills, respectively).

It's also difficult because of the distinction between income and assets already owned. I.e. we don't get taxed on the capital we already own, but on the new capital we've acquired throughout the year; once the taxes are paid on new capital for the first year then that capital is simply owned by us and we aren't further taxed on it (unless it's a property tax on homes).

Help me tweak this idea.

 

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