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How the 15% US Minimum Corporate Tax Would Work

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The tax, climate and energy bill passed by Senate Democrats includes a 15% minimum tax on the domestic profits of large American companies. This roundabout method to collect more money from corporations, known as a minimum book tax, is critical to the deal, since it provides much of the new revenue to fund the energy investments and deficit reduction that Democrats are hoping to tout in the midterm elections this November.

Companies with at least $1 billion in income would be required to calculate their annual tax liability two ways: one using longstanding tax accounting methods, which is 21% of profits less deductions and credits; the other by applying the 15% rate to the earnings they report to shareholders on their financial statements, commonly known as book income. Whichever amount is greater would be what they owe.