Taxes and Accounting in the United States

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Accounting Rules

Tax Year
Usually Financial year begins on January 1 and ends on December 31 of the same year.
Accounting Standards
Accounting in the USA is based on domestic standards defined by:
- The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
- The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)
- The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB)
- The Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB)
Accounting Regulation Bodies
Accounting Reports
Annual report including income of statement, the balance sheet along with supporting CPA notes. The report must be filed on a Quarterly basis (10 K) with the SEC company.
Publication Requirements
According to the S-X rule of the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), all companies which make a public appeal for saving have to present annually to the SEC an information file called "10 K" for American companies and "20 F" for foreign companies.
Companies quoted on the stock-exchange have to publish their accounts.
Professional Accountancy Bodies
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Institute of Management Accountants
National Association of State Boards of Accountancy
American Accounting Association
Certification and Auditing
Companies have to seek a statutory auditor to conduct an annual audit of the financial health of their organization. You can contact:
Public Company Accounty Oversight Board
Deloitte & Touche
Ernst & Young ;
Accounting News
Accounting Zone
New York Times Accounting
Accounting Web

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Tax Rates

Consumption Taxes

Nature of the Tax
Sales Tax is levied by individual States at various rates. For more specific information at local level, consult the  United States Taxation Site and the FTA website.
Tax Rate
Varies by State and city (around 5% and 6%).
Reduced Tax Rate
Varies by State and city. Click here for more information.
Other Consumption Taxes
Other consumption taxes are levied at the local level. Click here for more information about other consumption taxes by states.
Find Tax Professionals in the United States on

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Corporate Taxes

Company Tax
Tax is levied at a graduate rate from 15% on every dollar up to USD 50,000 to a flat rate of 35% for USD 18,333,333 and over.
Tax Rate For Foreign Companies
Corporate income is taxed at the federal, state and sometimes at the municipal levels. Income is taxed during the year that it is earned and again when it is distributed to the shareholders.

The income of a Corporation is taxed twice, once at the level of the corporation as a separate entity, and a second time at the shareholder level when profits are distributed by means of dividends.
Capital Gains Taxation
Capital gains are combined with ordinary income, and taxed at the same rates as corporate income.
Main Allowable Deductions and Tax Credit
- An exemption amount for the taxpayer, the spouse, each child, and any other qualified dependents, and certain disabilities,
- Mortgage interest paid on one's primary residence or other residence,
- Equity loan or Line of Credit interest,
- Charitable contributions to eligible entities,
- Business deductions, such as mileage, related to an individual's expenses regarding their employment,
- Business startup and operation, and farming expenses (including travel, meals), not to exceed business income,
- Union and professional dues,
- Medical expenses above a certain percentage of the individual's Adjusted Gross Income (AGI),
- The cost of tax advice, software, and books,
- Moving expenses, in some cases,
- Job search expenses as one searches for work in the same industry,
- Educational expense (but only if it does not prepare one for a new career).
Other Corporate Taxes
In addition to Federal taxes, States and municipal taxes vary from one state or community to another.

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Individual Taxes

Tax Rate

Different scales depending on the family status (married couples under a joint system, married couples under a separate assets system, single and head of the family), limited to six rates. 10%, 15%, 25%, 28% and 33%
High incomes are subjected to an additional tax. 35%
Allowable Deductions and Tax Credit
Depend on the State of residence.
Special Expatriate Tax Regime
An expatriate's US source income may be exempt from US tax. For further information consult the website USA International Offshore.

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Double Taxation Treaties

Countries With Whom a Double Taxation Treaty Have Been Signed
As of May 2010, 60 countries have signed a double taxation treaty with the USA
Withholding Taxes
Dividends: 30%, Interest: 30%, Royalties: 30%

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Sources of Fiscal Information

Tax Authorities
Other Domestic Resources
White (pages on taxes)

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Find more on about Taxes and Accounting in the United States.

Intellectual Property

National Organizations
United States Patent and Trademark Office.
U.S Copyright Office
Regional Organizations
UNECA (UN Economic Commission for Africa)

APEC (Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation)

UNECE (UN Economic Commission for Europe )

ECLAC (UN Ecomomic Commission for Latin America & the Carribean)

ESCWA (UN Ecomomic and Social Commission for Western Asia)

International Membership
Member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Signatory to the Paris Convention For the Protection of Intellectual Property
Membership to the TRIPS agreement - Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

National Regulation and International Agreements

Type of property and law Validity International Agreements Signed
United States Code Title 35
20 years Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
Strasbourg agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification
US trademarl law
20 years , renewed for periods of ten years, unless previously cancelled or surrendered. Trademark law treaty
Nice agreement
Protocol relating to the Madrid Agreement
Copyright Law
During the life of the author plus either 50 or 70 years Berne convention
Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms
Rome ConventionFor the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations
WIPO Copyright Treaty
WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
Industrial Models
United States Code Title 35

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Legal Framework

Independence of Justice
Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Foreign nationals can expect an impartial trial from the judicial system.
The Language of Justice
Recourse to an Interpreter
Each federal court is required to provide, at judiciary expense, a certified or otherwise qualified interpreter in judicial proceedings instituted by the United States for a party who speaks only or primarily a language other than English.
Sources of the Law and Legal Similarities
The main source of the law is the constitution of 1787. The country legal system is based on federal court system influenced by English common law and judicial reviews of various legislative acts. Each state has its own unique legal system with its own supreme court. A case may be appealed from a state supreme court to the federal Supreme Court only if it is related to federal issues like U.S. Constitution or laws/treaties of the United States.
Checking National Laws Online
Office of the Law Revision Council
Find Legal Experts in the United States on

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National Standards Organizations
American National Standards Institute
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Integration in the International Standards Network
The ANSI is a member of:
- The International Standard organization (ISO);
- The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC);
- The International Accreditation Forum (IAF)
- The U.S. member of the Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC)
- The Pan American Standards Commission (COPANT)
- The Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC)
- Via the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB), a member of the Inter American Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC).
Classification of Standards
- Five Standards Panel manage by the American National Standards Institute:
- the ANSI Biofuels Standards Panel (ANSI-BSP),
- the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel,
- the ANSI Homeland Security Standards Panel,
- the ANSI Nanotechnology Standards Panel,
- the Identity Theft Prevention and Identity Management Standards Panel,
- the classification code is: ANSI + 1 letter showing the technical area + digit number and the year.
Online Consultation of Standards
The ANSI webstore or the search engine NSSN.
Certification Organizations
Directory of ANSI Accredited Certification Programs for Product Certifiers
Directory of Accredited Telecommunication Certification Body Programs
Directory of ANSI Accredited Certification Programs for SQF Standards
Directory of ANSI Accredited Certification Programs for SFI and PEFC Standards

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Business Practices

General Information
Doing Business
Doing Business In the USA
Opening Hours and Days
From Monday to Friday, 8:30 /9:00 am to 5:00/6:00 pm.

Public Holidays

New Year's day 1 January
Martin Luther King 's Birthday 17 January
President 's Day February
Memorial Day May
Independence Day 4 July
Labor Day September
Columbus Day October
Veteran 's Day 11 November
Thanksgiving Last friday of November
Christmas Day 25 December

Periods When Companies Usually Close

New Year's day 1 January
Memorial Day 31 May
Independence Day 4 July
Labor Day 6 September
Thanksgiving 25 November
Christmas Day 25 December

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