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Foreign Tax Codes Always Look Greener

Executives say they envy tax codes in Europe and even China

U.S. executives hoping to convince Congress to rewrite the nation’s complicated tax code have been regaling lawmakers with tales from other lands. In congressional hearings and speeches, they’ve argued that the U.S. is out of step with the rest of the world when it comes to corporate taxes. In an August speech at Dartmouth College, General Electric Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey R. Immelt said the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan had more enlightened tax systems. “Without any dispute, I would take any of those tax policies vs. the U.S. today,” Immelt said.

Gregory J. Hayes, the chief financial officer of United Technologies, told the House Ways and Means Committee earlier this year that businesses in Switzerland have an edge over their American peers because the nation has a lower corporate tax rate and does not tax companies’ offshore income.