May 7, 2022Liked by Lee R. Nackman

Thanks - again learned a lot. My three questions: (1) how do public and private corporation compare in terms of taxes paid? (2) are corporate tax returns available to the public? (3) how can the complexity of the global economic system be modeled as a simulation/education tool?

Expand full comment

I'm glad it was helpful, Jim. Here are brief answers to your questions:

(1) I'm not aware of data that answers your specific question. But here's a bit of reasoning that might give something of an answer. About 95% of all businesses are passthrough businesses, meaning that the corporation is not taxed directly but earnings pass through to the owners, who then pay taxes through the individual income tax system. So, these companies don't pay any corporate income taxes. (They still have to file tax returns to give the IRS information about how the earnings passed through to the owners.)

The remaining 5% of businesses are C-corporations, which are the corporations that pay corporate income taxes directly. The C-corporations earn about half of all business profits.

All publicly traded corporations are C-corporations because there's a 100-shareholder limit on S-corporations. There are a small number of private C-corporations. I believe (but don't know for certain) that the earnings of the publicly traded corporations are much larger than the earnings of the small number of private C-corporations. This would suggest that public corporations pay most of the corporate tax collected.

(2) No. Publicly traded companies have to disclose some information about their taxes but it is not nearly as detailed as their tax returns.

(3) There are a bunch of simulation tools for the economy used in teaching. I don't know anything about them.

Expand full comment