CHILE: Tax Twist

Chile's government last week carried out a major overhaul of the taxes it imposes on the subsidiaries of the big U.S. companies (Anaconda and Kennecott) that mine 12% of the world's copper there. The new law, scrapping a legal tangle of income taxes, fixed selling prices and exchange-rate penalties that added up to 85% of operating income, provides for an ingenious graduated income tax in reverse. If production stays at present levels, the companies will pay 50% of operating income as their basic tax, plus 25% as a surtax. But the surtax will shrink with increased production and disappear...

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