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Stock illustration: Poring over documents

One of the provisions buried in the Build Back Better bill is the implementation of a minimum tax rate of 15 percent for corporations. Senator Elizabeth Warren has been the provision’s most vocal champion and chief cheerleader. Given that 55 high-profile profitable corporations paid no taxes in the last fiscal year, the idea of applying a minimum tax is seen as a way to correct a tax outcome that many regard as unfair.

Fairness, of course, is in the eye of the beholder. Some argue that any tax on corporate profits is unfair, as the same earnings are taxed a second time when distributed to shareholders. Thus, imposing corporate taxes in the first place allows for double taxation. Others contend that taxes on corporate earnings have spawned an over-the-top evolution of lobbying by special interests that have detrimental effects disproportionate to the relatively small contribution that corporate taxes make to total federal taxes collected. (Corporate taxes account for about 7 percent of total federal tax revenues.)

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