KPMG puts out an annual study of corporate tax rates around the world. For the tenth year in a row, the average global corporate tax rates has fallen. It is now down to 25.5% and 23.2% in the EU. Unfortunately, the U.S. is stuck with our "40% partner."
If someone starts complaining that jobs are moving to China (25% Corporate tax rate), just remember the corporate tax rate differences. The U.S. has the highest rate in the developed world except for Japan.
Anyway, it is an interesting report with good graphics and tables of corporate tax rates in different countries and how they have changed over time:
Ford Bid for UAW Concessions Dims as Rejections Mount at PlantsShare Business ExchangeTwitterFacebook| Email | Print | A A A
By Keith Naughton and Mike Ramsey
Oct. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co.hourly employees at three more factories rejected union contract concessions, dimming the automaker’s prospects for winning the givebacks granted to U.S. competitors.
The results mean that workers at 11 plants representing 16,300 United Auto Workers union members have turned down the deal, compared with approvals at 4 facilities with 6,100 employees. Ford has 41,000 workers represented by the UAW, whose leaders negotiated the accord.
“This never happens. It’s a vote of no confidence in the bargaining committee and a vote of no confidence in Ford,” said Gary Chaison, a labor professor at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. “To reject a collective agreement at a time of economic difficulty is really a sign of desperation and anger.”
Ford, the only major U.S. automaker to avoid bankruptcy, is seeking concessions similar to those secured this year by General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC. The contract changes include a six-year ban on strikes over wages and benefits and freezing wages of new hires until 2015.
Most union locals aren’t releasing vote tallies, so the running total for and against the givebacks isn’t known. Mark Truby, a spokesman for Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford, declined to comment on the balloting, which began Oct. 22.
Members of Local 600 in Dearborn, Ford’s largest UAW group, will finish voting tomorrow, a day before the Nov. 1 deadline. The results must be forwarded to union leaders by 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 3.
Ford fell 13 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $7.17 at 11:14 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.
The latest rejections occurred at a Taurus factory in Chicago with about 1,278 hourly workers; a metal-stampings plant in Chicago with about 690 union employees; and a parts factory in Saline, Michigan, with about 1,500 UAW members.
Stamping-plant employees voted 80 percent against the deal, said Gary Walkowicz, a Local 600 official, who also disclosed the results at the Taurus factory without giving details. The Saline parts-plant workers nixed the concessions with 75 percent of the vote, Local 892 President Mark Caruso said in an e-mail.
Ford has said it needs the concessions to ensure that it doesn’t have a labor-cost disadvantage against GM and Chrysler, which also unloaded debt and closed plants as part of their restructuring in court.
Chaison said Ford may consider dropping the no-strike clause as a sweetener or adding some other inducement to get a positive result in a new round of balloting.
The automaker’s other option is to punish the UAW by making promised products in Canada or Mexico instead of the U.S., said David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
“Where we will see the result of this failure is in a product announcement -- moving some business out that had been planned here,” he said.
Watch your wallet! The 1099Misc requirement is going to create a lot of new paperwork for everyone.
H.R. 3962, the "Affordable Health Care for America Act" has been introduced--all 1990 pages of it. This gargantuan beast contains thirteen new tax hikes. Here they all are, with description and page number (PDF version): *** Employer Mandate Excise Tax (Page 275): If an employer does not pay 72.5 percent of a single employee’s health premium (65 percent of a family employee), the employer must pay an excise tax equal to 8 percent of average wages. Small employers (measured by payroll size) have smaller payroll tax rates of 0 percent (<$500,000), 2 percent ($500,000-$585,000), 4 percent ($585,000-$670,000), and 6 percent ($670,000-$750,000). http://www.atr.org/breaking-comprehensive-list-taxesbr-house-democrat-a4113#
BREAKING: Comprehensive List of TaxesFrom Ryan Ellis on Thursday, October 29, 2009 12:20 PM
In House Democrat Health Bill
Individual Mandate Surtax (Page 296): If an individual fails to obtain qualifying coverage, he must pay an income surtax equal to the lesser of 2.5 percent of modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) or the average premium. MAGI adds back in the foreign earned income exclusion and municipal bond interest.
Medicine Cabinet Tax (Page 324): Non-prescription medications would no longer be able to be purchased from health savings accounts (HSAs), flexible spending accounts (FSAs), or health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). Insulin excepted.
Cap on FSAs (Page 325): FSAs would face an annual cap of $2500 (currently uncapped).
Increased Additional Tax on Non-Qualified HSA Distributions (Page 326): Non-qualified distributions from HSAs would face an additional tax of 20 percent (current law is 10 percent). This disadvantages HSAs relative to other tax-free accounts (e.g. IRAs, 401(k)s, 529 plans, etc.)
Denial of Tax Deduction for Employer Health Plans Coordinating with Medicare Part D (Page 327): This would further erode private sector participation in delivery of Medicare services.
Surtax on Individuals and Small Businesses (Page 336): Imposes an income surtax of 5.4 percent on MAGI over $500,000 ($1 million married filing jointly). MAGI adds back in the itemized deduction for margin loan interest. This would raise the top marginal tax rate in 2011 from 39.6 percent under current law to 45 percent—a new effective top rate.
Excise Tax on Medical Devices (Page 339): Imposes a new excise tax on medical device manufacturers equal to 2.5 percent of the wholesale price. It excludes retail sales and unspecified medical devices sold to the general public.
Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting (Page 344): Requires that 1099-MISC forms be issued to corporations as well as persons for trade or business payments. Current law limits to just persons for small business compliance complexity reasons. Also expands reporting to exchanges of property.
Delay in Worldwide Allocation of Interest (Page 345): Delays for nine years the worldwide allocation of interest, a corporate tax relief provision from the American Jobs Creation Act
Limitation on Tax Treaty Benefits for Certain Payments (Page 346): Increases taxes on U.S. employers with overseas operations looking to avoid double taxation of earnings.
Codification of the “Economic Substance Doctrine” (Page 349): Empowers the IRS to disallow a perfectly legal tax deduction or other tax relief merely because the IRS deems that the motive of the taxpayer was not primarily business-related.
Application of “More Likely Than Not” Rule (Page 357): Publicly-traded partnerships and corporations with annual gross receipts in excess of $100 million have raised standards on penalties. If there is a tax underpayment by these taxpayers, they must be able to prove that the estimated tax paid would have more likely than not been sufficient to cover final tax liability.
H.R. 3962, the "Affordable Health Care for America Act" has been introduced--all 1990 pages of it. This gargantuan beast contains thirteen new tax hikes. Here they all are, with description and page number (PDF version):
Employer Mandate Excise Tax (Page 275): If an employer does not pay 72.5 percent of a single employee’s health premium (65 percent of a family employee), the employer must pay an excise tax equal to 8 percent of average wages. Small employers (measured by payroll size) have smaller payroll tax rates of 0 percent (<$500,000), 2 percent ($500,000-$585,000), 4 percent ($585,000-$670,000), and 6 percent ($670,000-$750,000).
If you currently enjoy either a Flexible Savings Account or Health Savings Account, your plan will change!
By Ryan J. Donmoyer and Margaret Collins
Oct. 30 (Bloomberg) -- About 35 million Americans may have as little as a month to take full advantage of a tax subsidy for out-of-pocket medical expenses under a health-reform bill Congress is debating.
The legislation unveiled in the House yesterday would set for the first time a $2,500 cap on contributions to Flexible Spending Accounts, a benefit offered by employers that allows workers to pay some medical expenses with pretax dollars. Employers currently set their own limits, generally $3,000 to $5,000.
The proposal is similar to one adopted by the Senate Finance Committee. An average worker could lose about $625 in tax savings by failing to take the full amount before the limits are set. The “open enrollment” benefit-selection period now under way at 95 percent of employers may be the last opportunity to claim a higher amount.
“If you’re a parent and your kid needs braces in the next year or two, you may want to expedite that,” said Joe Jackson, chief executive officer of WageWorks Inc., a San Mateo, California, company that administers 1.5 million flexible spending accounts for some 2,800 employers.
The House limits wouldn’t apply until 2013, while the Senate limits would take effect in 2011. The current open- enrollment period, which typically lasts a week or two, is generally the only time workers can decide how much to contribute to their accounts in 2010. About 35 million Americans have flexible spending accounts and they have an average salary of $55,000, said Jackson, who is also chairman ofSave Flexible Spending Plans, a coalition of business groups, medical providers and plan administrators opposing the caps.
Employers increasingly are offering such accounts, said Beth Umland, director of research for health and benefits at Mercer, a New York-based human resources consulting firm. About 83 percent of employers with 500 or more employees had health spending accounts in their benefit plans in 2008, up from 52 percent in 1995.
The plans let workers deposit money before taxes into accounts that can be used to pay health-related expenses. Typically, all the money must be spent within a year to 15 months or it’s forfeited.
Under current law, depositing $5,000 to pay for a medical procedure such as laser eye surgery would save a worker in the 25 percent income-tax bracket $1,250 in taxes. An employee in the 15 percent tax bracket would save $750. Those tax savings would be cut in half under the proposal to cap the maximum annual contribution at $2,500.
“For the first time people are taking their benefits package and really looking at them,” Gibbs said. “Now is the time to put as much money in there as possible.”
The House legislation would generate an estimated $13.3 billion in tax revenue to help fund broader health reforms, according to the nonpartisan congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.
The House bill also would place limits on tax-advantaged Health Savings Accounts, which share some similarities with Flexible Spending Accounts, except money in HSAs doesn’t have to be spent by a specific date. It also would prohibit purchases of over-the-counter drugs using Flexible Spending Account contributions.
NAM is a good group focused on the interests of manufacturers, both large and small. They are worth looking into to support your manufacturing causes. Here's their position on the House healthcare bill and it's impact on manufacturing in the U.S., from today's email newsletter:
IndustryWeek (10/30) reports, "Responding to the House of Representatives' Affordable Health Care for America Act, the NAM's President John Engler expressed its dissatisfaction with the additional costs that will be levied on manufacturers." Engler "points out that the bill calls for a 5.4% surtax on incomes over $500,000 and since almost 70% of manufacturers are organized as S-corporations or other entities that pay taxes at the individual income rate, this is another tax on small businesses." Engler said "that this additional surtax will mean that 'federal tax rates will skyrocket to nearly 50% for these manufacturers (with state taxes adding even more burden.) These new taxes will have massive negative consequences for manufacturing which has already lost 2.1 million jobs in this recession.'" Engler also "points out that 97% of NAM members voluntarily provide health benefits to their employees and therefore the proposed public option will threaten the private coverage manufacturers offer to their employees."
Also, in a press release (10/30) the NAM writes, "Manufacturers get hit especially hard by these tax increases because of the intense capital demands of modern manufacturing. A small manufacturer's revenue is not take-home pay. It is the money needed to expand plants, invest in equipment and provide benefits – including health insurance."
The Hill (10/30, Young) reports, "Business groups blasted the House healthcare bill released Thursday, and a key trade association for doctors declined to endorse it." Organizations "representing employers remain deeply concerned about the bill's mandate for employers to provide insurance, the public insurance option and the income surtax on people earning more than $500,000." A coalition of business groups, including the NAM, "issued a letter opposing the House bill outright." The letter says, "The legislation falls short of the bipartisan goal of controlling costs and jeopardizes employer-sponsored coverage which now serves more than 160 million Americans." The bill introduced on Thursday "includes important changes from the measure Democrats introduced over the summer, but the framework is the same." Because of "the need to win votes from centrist Democrats, the public option in the new bill is less objectionable to the insurance industry, but it is still a problem."
Politico (10/30) reports, "A coalition of employer groups...wrote to Speaker Pelosi and Republican Leader Boehner in opposition to the Democrats' health reform bill. An organized front of business opposition, while not unexpected, is not good news for Democrats." The group has "concerns with the employer mandate, public option and required minimum benefits package, among others." Signing "both letters was American Benefits Council, the Corporate Health Care Coalition, the ERISA Industry Committee, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the NAM, the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, the National Coalition on Benefits, the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association."
Workforce Management (10/30) reports, "Employers quickly disavowed a revised health care reform bill introduced by Democrats on Thursday...standing with the health insurance industry in opposition to a publicly run health insurance plan popularly known as the public option." Business lobbyists say "the new version remains the most onerous of the health care reform bills introduced so far." It contains "the public option plan, more stringent employer mandates, changes to ERISA, and business penalties that would go toward paying for reform." Martin Reiser, chairman of the national Coalition on Benefits which includes the NAM, said, "Everything we had said we were concerned with is still in there. ... It's a very big disappointment." The new House bill is "estimated to cost $894 billion and would reduce the deficit over 10 years by $30 billion, Democratic leaders said, citing an initial analysis by the Congressional Budget Office."
CEH Marketing Research Report Abstract
By Henry Chinn with Uwe Löchner and Akihiro Kishi
Polyurethane (PU) foams constitute the largest category of cellular polymeric materials. They are produced, for the most part, either in flexible or in rigid form. Within these major groups, the density and other properties vary depending on the end use. PU foams offer an attractive balance of performance characteristics (aging properties, mechanical strength, elastic properties, chemical resistance, insulating properties) and cost.
Flexible PU foams are used primarily for cushioning and rigid PU foams for insulation. For some applications, foams that have some stiffness and some elasticity are produced; in the trade, they are called semiflexible or semirigid foams. Flexible polyurethane foam is used primarily as a cushioning material in furniture, transportation and bedding applications. Rigid polyurethane foam is utilized mainly as an insulation material in construction and refrigeration/freezer applications. Flexible polyurethane foams account for 54% of global consumption, but the split with rigid polyurethane foams varies by region. Rigid foams constitute more than 50% of total polyurethane foam consumption in China and Mexico, which are important manufacturing sites for refrigerators and freezers.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of polyurethane foams:
Several thousand producers worldwide manufacture polyurethane foams, frequently at several plant locations. Most foam producers concentrate their efforts on either flexible or rigid foam because the markets and technologies are quite different. In recent years, the industry has witnessed a concentration process, primarily in the United States and Western Europe. Current production capacity for both flexible and rigid polyurethane foams is adequate to meet demand.
Polyurethane foam producers are challenged with manufacturing “greener” products—that is, PU foams with improved sustainability and environmental characteristics (for example, polyurethane foams produced with bio-based polyols, rigid foams made with blowing agents with low global warming potential [GWP], and foams not using PBDE [polybrominated diphenylether] fire retardants). Many flexible PU foam producers and automobile seating manufacturers provide products made with bio-based polyols (the renewable content is widely varied).
The global recession of 2008–2009 has significantly reduced demand for polyurethane foams in most countries and regions. Demand in 2009 will be down by 3–35% depending on the product and country or region. Some companies, especially old and/or small production facilities, are expected to shut down permanently and others with multiple manufacturing sites could close some capacity.
For most regions of the world, demand for flexible polyurethane foams is expected to grow at an average annual rate of about 2–4% from 2008 to 2013. Demand for rigid foams will grow at a faster rate. However, assuming that most countries will face drastic drops in 2009 demand (0–5% in the strongest economies to 5–20% in the United States and Western Europe), average annual growth rates of 5–15% are forecast for 2009–2013.
(For the complete marketing research report on POLYURETHANE FOAMS, visit this report’s home page or see p. 580.1600 A of the Chemical Economics Handbook.)
|By Erin McKeon|
Published October 30, 2009FREEPORT — Residents evacuated because of a Dow Chemical Co. leak likely will remain out of their homes at least through Sunday, officials said, though monitors tracking the leak say they have found no emissions.