法人減税加速 効果が見通せない

–The Asahi Shimbun, Dec. 3
EDITORIAL: Doubts remain on effectiveness of corporate tax cut
(社説)法人減税加速 効果が見通せない

The Abe administration has decided to lower the effective corporate tax rate to less than 30 percent next fiscal year. The reduction of taxation on corporate profits will come earlier than originally scheduled.
企業の利益にかかる法人実効税率が予定を早めて引き下げられ、来年度に30%を切る見通しとなった。

The Finance Ministry and other related government bodies had agreed with Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), the nation’s most powerful business lobby, to lower the rate more gradually, from the current level of slightly higher than 32 percent to below 30 percent in fiscal 2017.
財務省などの関係省庁と経団連は、今は32%強の実効税率を段階的に下げ、17年度に20%台とすることで一致していた。

But the prime minister’s office, which has been keen to push through corporate tax reform, has decided to quicken the pace of the tax reduction.
それを法人税改革に熱心な首相官邸が前倒しした。

If the proposal is implemented, the effective corporate tax rate will have been lowered by a total of 7 percentage points since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned to power in December 2012.
第2次安倍政権の発足以来、計7%幅の引き下げになる。

The corporate tax reform is aimed at re-energizing the economy by encouraging companies to raise wages and expand their investment in equipment and facilities.
改革の目的は、賃上げや設備投資の回復につなげて経済を元気にすることだ。

Both wages and corporate capital investment are showing signs of growing, but only moderately. Instead of spending heavily to increase wages and capital investment, companies are building up their cash reserves.
しかし、賃金、投資とも改善の傾向にはあるものの力強さを欠き、企業は手元資金を積み上げている。

Will simply accelerating the pace of tax reduction produce expected results? Or is there a more focused and effective approach to stimulating companies to ramp up their spending?
これまでの取り組みを加速すれば効果が期待できるのか。企業のおカネを動かすために、もっと的を絞った対策はないのか。

The Abe administration has made the decision without holding sufficient debate on these and other questions that should be sorted out.
詰めるべき論点を素通りしたと言わざるをえない。

The process leading to the decision raises even more questions about the wisdom of the measure.
今回の検討の過程を振り返ると、疑問はいっそう膨らむ。

In its talks with business leaders, the Abe administration made repeated requests for wage hikes and expansion of investment even though decisions concerning these issues should in principle be left to individual companies.
最終的には個々の企業が決める賃上げや投資増について、政権は「官民対話」の場で要求を繰り返し、

Those in the business community responded to these requests by saying they need a corporate tax cut and other measures to ease their burden.
経済界は「それには法人減税などが不可欠」と切り返してきた。

In the end, Keidanren expressed the “expectation” that profitable companies will give their employees bigger wage hikes next fiscal year than the increases in the current year. The business group also made the “projection” that corporate capital spending will increase by 10 trillion yen ($81.6 billion) from this year to more than 81 trillion yen in fiscal 2018.
結局、賃上げについて「収益拡大企業への、今年を上回る引き上げへの期待」を、設備投資では「今年度と比べて10兆円増の81兆円強に増えるとの見通し」を経団連が表明し、

The administration welcomed Keidanren’s replies as “important messages” and decided to push down the effective corporate tax rate.
政権が「重く受け止める」と応じて、税率下げの前倒しが固まった。

During the talks between the government and the business community, however, more time could have been spent on such relevant issues as the merits and demerits of so-called special tax measures.
官民対話では、たとえば租税特別措置(租特)の功罪について議論を深めてもよかった。

Special tax measures could degenerate into hotbeds of vested interests, but they often produce immediate effects.
租特には、既得権の温床になりかねないマイナス面の一方、即効性がある。

There are currently special tax benefits in place for achieving such policy objectives as promoting capital investment and research and development spending by companies and stimulating wage and job growth. But there may be room for improvements and upgrades in these measures.
今も設備・研究開発投資の促進や雇用増、賃上げを狙った特別措置が実施されているが、改善と工夫の余地はないだろうか。

Proponents of lower corporate taxation claim the effective tax rate in Japan is high by international standards and serves as a factor that discourages foreign companies from expanding into Japan.
実効税率の引き下げにしても、「日本は国際的に高く、だから海外の企業が日本に来ない」とされるが、

But is the corporate tax rate really the main cause of stagnant growth in foreign direct investment in Japan?
対日投資が伸びないのは税制が主因なのか。

The government and the ruling coalition intend to adjust the rules concerning the corporate enterprise tax, a local tax, to prevent the cut in the effective corporate tax rate from making a big dent in the tax revenue.
政府・与党は、法人実効税率を下げる一方で地方税の法人事業税を見直し、税収減を防ぐ考えだ。

Specifically, the scope of so-called pro forma standard taxation, which is based on measures of the companies’ size, such as payrolls and interest payments, instead of profits, will be expanded to increase taxation on money-losing companies. Only large companies with capital exceeding 100 million yen are subject to this local tax.
資本金1億円超の大企業を対象に、利益ではなく人件費や利払い額を基準に課税している「外形標準課税」を広げ、赤字企業への課税を強める。

This policy of expanding the taxation base by using pro forma standard taxation while reducing the effective tax rate is in line with the latest international trend.
外形標準課税などで課税ベースを広げつつ税率を下げる方向性は、最近の国際的な傾向に沿う。

But there can be a serious debate on whether it is appropriate to exempt small and midsized companies, many of which are unprofitable, from the tax.
ただ、赤字が多い中小企業が対象外のままでよいのか。

Individual taxpayers in this nation are facing the prospect of a higher consumption tax.
国民は消費増税に向き合っている。

Unless they become more convinced of the benefits of the corporate tax reform, Japanese consumers could start feeling strong doubt and discontent about the tax system as a whole.
法人税改革の成果が見通せないと、税制全体への疑問や不満が高まりかねない。

The Abe administration needs to be aware of this risk.
政権は自覚してほしい。

広告

srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク

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