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经济学人:税收磨刀霍霍向猪羊

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Taxing corporate cash

税收磨刀霍霍向“猪羊”
A tempting target
一个诱人的目标
South Korea's government tries to get firms to spend their accumulated riches
韩国政府试图向企业现金储备征税来充盈国库
SINCE becoming South Korea's finance minister in July, Choi Kyung-hwan has been busy. First came a 41 trillion won stimulus package. Now Mr Choi is trying to pep up the economy further by getting South Korean firms to spend more on wages and dividends.
自7月担任韩国财政部长一职以来,崔炅焕一直在忙碌中度过。首轮就抛出41万亿韩元的经济刺激计划。现在崔部长正试图通利用韩国企业的收入和利润进一步激励经济。

Mr Choi's scheme, submitted to South Korea's parliament this week, will tax companies' cash piles on the grounds that corporate stinginess is holding the country back. Cash reserves at South Korea's ten biggest chaebol, or conglomerates, have doubled in five years. Together, the country's non-financial firms hold over 450 trillion won. Though corporate earnings trebled between 2000 and 2012, household income in Korea barely doubled. The pace of salary growth has dropped, from 4.4% a year between 2001 and 2005 to just 0.3% a year since 2011.

崔部长在本周将要提交给韩国国会的计划中指出,政府将要向企业的现金储备征税,其原因在于企业不去投资发展而是大量现金储备的行为影响了经济的前行。韩国十大财阀企业集团的现金储备量在五年内翻了一番。与此相对应的,该国的非金融公司持有量超过450万亿韩元。虽然从2000年到2012年,韩国企业的盈利增长了两倍,家庭收入几乎翻了一倍,但是工资增长的速度却在下降,增速从2001年到2005年间的4.4%下降到2011年以来每年的0.3%。
If the plan is approved, the 4,000 or so South Korean firms with over 50 billion won in capital will pay a 10% surcharge on their corporate tax rate unless they have spent a certain proportion of their income on dividends, investment and wages. The government has yet to set the threshold, but it is likely to be 60-80%. Firms will also be exempt if they spend 20-40% of income on dividends and wages alone, a nod to the low investment rate of the service sector.
如果该议案被批准,那么约有4000家资本超过500亿韩元的企业要将占其收入一定比例的利润用于分红,投资或者职工薪酬,否则就要缴纳其企业所得税10%的附加费。政府尚未设置临界值,但及其可能为60%—80%。如果企业将其公司20%-40%的收入用于股息和工资的发放,那么将获得政府扶持投资的低利率贷款。
Companies are stockpiling cash in the face of mounting Chinese competition and slowing domestic demand as South Koreans age. Their bosses also remember the Asian financial crisis of 1997-8, when many firms ran out of cash and were forced to sell assets. They are miserly with dividends. Yields on South Korean equities are among the lowest in the world, at around 1.2%. Payouts dropped by 15% in the first half of this year, to 455 billion won.
公司现金储备面临着越来越多来自中国的竞争和国内需求放缓和人口老龄化的考验。企业老板们依稀还记得1997—1998年席卷亚洲的金融危机,当时,许多公司资金耗尽,被迫出售资产。他们削减股息(见图表)。韩国股市的收益率是世界上最低的国家之一,约为1.2%左右。今年上半年支出为4550亿韩元,下降了15%。
Low dividends are thought to be part of the reason for the “Korea discount”: the relatively low valuations of Korean firms. Daishin Securities, a local broker, estimates that Mr Choi's scheme will boost dividend payments by about 3 trillion won a year, a 28% increase.
低股利被认为是韩国公司估值相对较低的一部分原因。韩国本土的大信证券公司估计,崔部长的计划将使得每年的股息支付增加大概3万亿韩元,较之前增加了28%。
It is less clear, argues Shaun Cochran of CLSA, another broker, how much the tax will help the economy. Foreigners, who hold a third of the shares of South Korea's 200 biggest companies, will be some of its chief beneficiaries. Forcing companies to spend their cash could lead to unproductive investments. Many will squirrel away their reserves in property. Last week Hyundai, another chaebol, bought a plot of land for new headquarters in central Seoul for a whopping $10 billion. Kim Hak-soo of the Korea Institute of Public Finance, which advises the government, says it ought to be lowering corporate tax rates to achieve higher growth, not raising them.
里昂证券的经纪人肖恩·科克伦则认为,目前还不太清楚,税收收入的多少将有助于经济。外国投资者持有三分之一的韩国200家最大的公司的股票,将成为此项规定的主要受益者。而该计划也迫使企业拼命花掉现金,导致非生产性投资。许多人会将现金购入资产作为资产储备。上周,另一个财阀——韩国现代气团,在首尔市中心购入价值高达100亿美元的地皮作为新的总部所在地。韩国公共财政研究所的金正日建议政府,应该降低企业所得税税率,以实现更快的经济增长,而不是提高税率。
Firms may choose to pay the tax rather than make marginal investments or raise wages . Mr Choi's ministry insists that it wants “zero revenue” from the scheme. It, too, may soon find itself with lots of cash on its hands.
企业可以选择纳税而不是进行边际投资或提高工资。崔炅焕的发言人坚称,政府希望企业可以更多分红或者涨工资。但是往往事与愿违,那些财阀们宁愿交税也不分红涨工资呢。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
achieve [ə'tʃi:v]

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v. 完成,达到,实现

 
exempt [ig'zempt]

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n. 免税者,被免除义务者
adj. 免除的<

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surcharge ['sə:.tʃɑ:dʒ]

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n. 装载过多,额外费

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competition [kɔmpi'tiʃən]

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n. 比赛,竞争,竞赛

 
certain ['sə:tn]

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adj. 确定的,必然的,特定的
pron.

 
domestic [də'mestik]

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adj. 国内的,家庭的,驯养的
n. 家仆,

 
stinginess ['stindʒinis]

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n. 吝啬

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dividend ['dividend]

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n. 红利,股息,意外之财,彩金,被除数

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proportion [prə'pɔ:ʃən]

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n. 比例,均衡,部份,(复)体积,规模
vt

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unproductive

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adj. 不毛的;不生产的;徒劳的;非生产性的

 

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