Date of Project


Document Type

Honors Thesis

School Name

W. Fielding Rubel School of Business


Business Administration

Major Advisor

Dr. Alisha Harper


Taxes affect everyone. Public infrastructure, education, healthcare, social security, public safety, and national defense are just some of the services provided for U.S. Citizens and residents through tax revenue. As taxes pay for these services, it is often a topic of discussion in the media. Though there are varying opinions about taxes and our tax system, there is one quote from Benjamin Franklin that everyone can agree upon: “Our new Constitution is now established, everything seems to promise it will be durable; but, in this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.”

While Franklin’s statement about death and taxes continues to hold true for many Americans, one “person(s)” that has been able to avoid taxes, and in some cases, death itself, is the U.S. corporate entity. This paper analyzes three key questions addressing corporate tax avoidance: How are companies avoiding taxes, why has the U.S. government not put a stop to corporate income tax avoidance, and what can be done to ensure corporations are paying their fair share of income tax in the future?

The first piece of this paper is designed to lay the foundation for the subsequent discussions of how companies avoid paying tax and possible solutions. Additionally, it will provide both background and clarification for a system that many refer to as complex and confusing. The topics are divided into eight parts to provide clarification: Tax avoidance vs. tax evasion, marginal tax rates, employment taxes, international tax issues, tax treaties, structuring, case examples, and the amount of money the U.S. has lost from corporate income tax avoidance.

Available for download on Tuesday, October 29, 2024

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