United States

Overview

Last reviewed - 14 January 2020

The United States (US) is located in North America and is bordered on the north by Canada, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by the Gulf of Mexico and Mexico, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. The United States does not have an official language at the federal level; however, English is the de facto national language. The currency is the United States dollar (USD).

The United States is a constitution-based federal republic. Its federal government is comprised of a legislative branch, executive branch, and judicial branch. The legislative branch has an elected House of Representatives and Senate. The executive branch is led by an elected President and an appointed cabinet of leaders of federal agencies that administer the laws enacted by the legislative branch. The judicial branch is organised into circuits with the power to review the decisions of the district courts. Ultimate review of lower court decisions is handled by the US Supreme Court.

Geographically, the United States is divided into 50 states and one federal district, Washington, DC, the capital city. The state governments mirror the structure of the federal government in that they all have legislative, executive, and judicial branches. Each of the states has county (parish), city, and municipal governments. The United States also has 14 dependent territories. These territories also may have lower governmental bodies.

All of the levels of government, from federal to state to municipality, have authority to tax, legislate, and regulate. A complex system determines which has primary authority over an issue.

The federal court system is based on English common law. Each state has its own unique legal system, of which all but one is based on English common law (the Louisiana legal system is influenced by the Napoleonic Code). A primary component of the judicial system is the judicial review of legislative and executive acts.

The United States is a member of a number of international organisations, including being a permanent member of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a member of the G-7, a member of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

PwC’s US Tax practice helps organisations and individuals create the value they're seeking. Our marketplace knowledge, industry insight, and technical expertise helps you better manage your business and improve performance in today’s ever-changing environment. Our US Tax practice is made up of 11,000 tax professionals who are part of an integrated, worldwide community of 40,000 tax professionals. PwC's global network of firms offers results-driven insight and technology to deliver tax services wherever you do business. PwC's Tax practice has the experience and depth of knowledge on a wide variety of tax issues to address your unique business needs and challenges.

For more information about PwC’s tax services and capabilities, please visit us at www.pwc.com/us/tax.

Quick rates and dates

Corporate income tax (CIT) rates
Headline CIT rate (%) Federal CIT: 21%. State CITs range from 1% to 12% (although some states impose no CIT) and are deductible expenses for federal CIT purposes.
Corporate income tax (CIT) due dates
CIT return due date 15 April
CIT final payment due date By the 15th day of the 12th month of the tax year.
CIT estimated payment due dates Four equal estimated payments are due throughout the year, on the 15th day of the fourth, sixth, ninth, and 12th months of the tax year.
Personal income tax (PIT) rates
Headline PIT rate (%) 37
Personal income tax (PIT) due dates
PIT return due date 15 April
PIT final payment due date 15 April
PIT estimated payment due dates Quarterly payments (15 April, 15 June, 15 September, and 15 January)
Value-added tax (VAT) rates
Standard VAT rate (%) NA
Withholding tax (WHT) rates
WHT rates (%) (Div/Int/Roy) Resident: NA;
Non-resident: 30 / 30 / 30
Capital gains tax (CGT) rates
Corporate capital gains tax rate (%) 21
Individual capital gains tax rate (%) 20
Net wealth/worth tax rates
Headline net wealth/worth tax rate (%) NA
Inheritance and gift tax rates
Inheritance tax rate (%) There is no inheritance tax. However, there is an estate tax with a top rate of 40%.
Gift tax rate (%) 40

NA stands for Not Applicable (i.e. the territory does not have the indicated tax or requirement)

NP stands for Not Provided (i.e. the information is not currently provided in this chart)

All information in this chart is up to date as of the 'Last reviewed' date on the corresponding territory Overview page. This chart has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only, and does not constitute professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this chart without obtaining specific professional advice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this chart, and, to the extent permitted by law, PwC does not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this chart or for any decision based on it.