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Donald Trump tweaked one of his most repeated falsehoods as he accepted the Republican nomination for president.
On the final night of the Republican National Convention, Trump positioned himself as the fiscally sound counter to rival and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, whom he claimed is proposing a tax hike.
"Middle-income Americans and businesses will experience profound relief, and taxes will be greatly simplified for everyone, I mean everyone," Trump said. "America is one of the highest-taxed nations in the world. Reducing taxes will cause new companies and new jobs to come roaring back into our country. Believe me, it'll happen and it'll happen fast."
This is the fourth time we’ve weighed in on a statement from Trump about America’s tax rate. The difference tonight is the slightly tempered tone. Instead of declaring the United States as having the highest tax rate, he said we’re one of the highest-taxed countries.
That’s progress. But it’s still not 100 percent accurate.
Back in May, Trump said, "We’re the highest-taxed nation in the world."
Raj Shah, a Republican National Committee spokesman, told PolitiFact that Trump was talking about the corporate tax rate.
Trump didn’t specify that distinction in his speech, though his tax-rate claim was immediately followed by the business-specific line about reducing taxes that will spur growth of new companies and jobs.
We’ve previously fact-checked a statement about whether the United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the world, and found it pretty accurate.
Of the most advanced and industrialized nations in the world, America ranks third highest for general top marginal corporate income tax rates with a 39.1 percent tax on corporate profits, exceeded by Chad and the United Arab Emirates. So the United States does have a higher corporate tax rate than most of its industrialized peers.
That said, it’s worth remembering that the official tax rates are one thing, while the tax rates corporations actually pay can be substantially less. In practice, U.S. companies pay less because they can claim deductions and exclusions.
Trump teed up his statement by mentioning the tax impact on "middle-income Americans and businesses," which could easily lead listeners to perceive this as a question of overall tax burden, not businesses specifically.
Trump called the United States "one of the highest-taxed nations in the world."
Trump tweaked his language this time in effort to improve his accuracy, saying it’s "one of" the highest taxed nations. If you believe that he meant the corporate tax rate, given the details about companies and jobs that followed the claim, then Trump’s comment is pretty accurate.
However, he didn’t specify that distinction, and a reasonable listener could take away from Trump’s remark that he meant taxes overall, particularly given that he set up the line with a joint reference to middle-income Americans and businesses.
We rate the claim Mostly False.
Email interview, Raj Shaw, Republican National Committee, July 21, 2016
PolitiFact, "For the third time, Donald Trump, U.S. is not ‘highest taxed nation in the world,’" May 8, 2016
PolitiFact, "Does the U.S. have the highest corporate tax rate in the free world?" Sept. 9, 2014
Forbes, "The countries with the highest income tax rates," March 19, 2015
PolitiFact, "Donald Trump said he had the biggest tax cuts of any 2016 candidate," July 21, 2016
Pew Research’s FactTank, "Among developed nations, Americans’ tax bills are below average," Apr. 11, 2016
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