More than twice the number of leading U.S. firms are are partially exempt from corporate tax compared to four years ago.
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When it comes to taxes, corporate America is getting a bit less corporate.Fueled by a wave of inversions, a record 54 companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index of leading U.S. firms are now at least partially exempt from the corporate income tax.Other companies have declared themselves to be real estate investment trusts, or REITs, which the Internal Revenue Service doesn't treat as corporations. Just this year, Equinix Inc., a California company that operates data centers, became a REIT to lower its effective tax rate to as little as 10 percent. At 35 percent, the U.S. corporate rate is the highest in the developed world.REITs have been allowed to join the S&P 500 since 2001 .Virtually all of the foreign and REIT companies in the S&P 500 still pay some U.S. corporate income taxes.
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