Auditing the Corporate Income Tax
Richard Rubin on Tax Incidence and the Corporate Income Tax
The Biden administration has ambitious plans to spend over $2 trillion — an alleged “one-time” capital investment in our nation’s infrastructure. This spending is to be paid for largely by higher taxes on corporations. Biden’s “soak the rich” campaign rhetoric included a promise not to raise taxes on anyone earning under $400,000 a year. My question: Is his proposal to raise the corporate income tax rate from 21 to 28% breaking his promise?
Who bears the burden?
This week, I welcome the Wall Street Journal’s U.S tax policy reporter Richard Rubin to the show to help break down the concept of tax incidence, and explore the hidden downstream effects of increasing taxes on “the rich.” Rubin is a neutral observer with no particular agenda other than to help readers understand what to expect when politicians in Washington D.C. change the tax code.
The key question, Rubin says, is who actually pays the price? The corporations themselves? Corporate profits will suffer, as Biden seems to expect, as will the shareholders. But what about workers who depend on corporate investment in capital to enhance their productivity, and pay them living wages?
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
The President assures us that the infrastructure bill will boost jobs, but we must always make visible the unseen effects of pulling a dollar out of the private sector in order to spend it elsewhere.
Good morning, everyone. Welcome to The Bob Zadek Show, the longest running live libertarian talk radio show on all of radio — the show this Sunday and always of ideas never once the show of attitude.
This morning’s topic may strike you as being a tad unpleasant. We’re going to talk about federal corporate income taxes. Almost everybody with a pulse has a strongly-held belief about taxes. Many opinions are uninformed — based upon a misunderstanding of the dynamics. Many people know it’s money out of their pocket into someone else’s pocket, but they don’t quite know the dynamics, how much they are taxed, who it goes to, and who would benefit.
Here’s a thought that I ask that you keep tucked away in the back of your minds during this hour: Everybody wants their money to be spent for their benefit, broadly. It may benefit you emotionally, psychologically to give the money away. It might benefit you to spend it on yourself, on your loved ones, on strangers. All of that is a benefit. The subject of taxation for the next hour is simply to whom and how do you spend that dollar which you own, that $100? Who will be your well-being vendor? Who will you give the money to to enhance your well-being? After all, it’s your money, and every bit of it should be spent to enhance your well-being. Government is a provider of your well-being. Government in theory protects you, and spends money for the public good. Public includes you. Private businesses are vendors who accept your money and give you in exchange, well-being.
In taxation, the government says, “We will be the vendor of your well-being. We will provide you with well-being for the money you spent.” They simply are out there competing to be the well-being provider. The question is, will they give you the most well-being for the dollar you give them? This is not a complex topic. Once you understand where the hidden taxes are — the taxes that the government has become skillful at taking from you in a way you don’t even know they’re doing it — you realize they are the ultimate stealthiest pickpocket there ever was. To help us understand this so you can keep your pockets tighter, and won’t let the government tax you behind your back, I’m happy to welcome to the show, Richard Rubin.
Richard is the US tax policy reporter for The Wall Street Journal in Washington. He focuses on taxes, politics, and economics. “Taxes: politics, and economics” is really just taxes divided into subcategories. Through a process of attrition, The Wall Street Journal has become the only provider of objective news that I allow to have access to my brain. I have culled the herd and they are the last media outlet standing. I rely heavily upon the information I get from The Wall Street Journal in making my personal decisions. I rely specifically on my tax tutor, Richard Rubin, to help me.
Thanks for having me. I appreciate being here.
Dissecting the Corporate Tax Burden
We’re going to winnow it down even more to talk about corporate tax policy, because it is so much in the news. President Biden, not surprisingly, because he announced his platform before he was elected, is determined in his continuing effort to tax the rich. His way of taxing the rich is to increase corporate income taxes.
Donald Trump in 2017 lowered the corporate income tax — the business income tax — which most people agree has a beneficial effect upon the economy. Biden is determined to increase the corporate income tax back up part of the way. Let’s start with the subject of corporate income tax broadly. There tends to be, in the broad sense, agreement among economists and those who study tax policy on the question.
This is my question: economists understand that there’s no such thing as taxing a corporation. Corporations do not pay taxes. They merely are tax-collecting intermediaries. If you agree with that concept, please explain it to our friends.
I would generally agree with the concept that corporations are collections of shareholders, bondholders, employees, executives, and some would say customers, who come together to conduct business. The corporate income tax, importantly, as opposed to the tax on a business’s profit, takes a share every year.
The question is, if a company is making whatever profit margin and is paying the percentage that the government, where does that come from? Where does that burden ultimately land? It doesn’t stay in the company. It goes to some of those people who ultimately pay it. This is something that economists study and don’t argue about and disagree about.
There’s basically two big broad categories. One is capital — shareholders. If a company is making profits and it is taxed more, then the shares of that company are worth less — the company can return less money to shareholders. The shareholders are the ones who are burdened. The other side is labor. Companies find other ways to share that and pay that tax burden. In the long run, maybe they pay workers less. The chain of events is basically that companies might consider productivity enhancing investments if the after-tax rate of return is going to be higher, but if the after-tax rate of return is going to be lower, then they don’t invest as much in the business. Those investments, like machines, were productive; therefore, in the long run, they can’t raise workers wages as much as they might otherwise. That’s the big tug and pull.
Economists generally see wages, labor, stock prices, and shareholder capital as the dimensions here. Some say that about three quarters [of the burden falls] on the capital side and one quarter [falls] on the labor side. More conservative economists say it’s closer to even. They even say that in the longer run, it falls more on labor.
Donald Trump in 2017 lowered the corporate income tax — the business income tax — which most people agree has a beneficial effect upon the economy. Biden is determined to increase the corporate income tax back up part of the way.
This is my question: economists understand that there’s no such thing as taxing a corporation. Corporations do not pay taxes. They merely are tax-collecting intermediaries. If you agree with that concept, please explain it to our friends.
Soak the Rich?
I wanted to come back and talk about taxing the rich. Shareholders do tend to be wealthier, with higher income than the population as a whole. That makes sense. Low-income households don’t own as much, both overall and as a share of the population. Stock ownership is very concentrated. It’s also widely distributed. This is one that also includes 401K’s, even though there’s no actual tax that you’re paying in your 401k when you take the money out.
The other big piece, and this is an important part of debate right now, is that a big portion of the corporate shareholders are foreigners. Foreign investors like the idea of investing in US corporations. Democrats see the corporate income tax as a way to tax foreigners. You can think of it like the car rental tax in Orlando. There’s a really high demand, and the local government there captures some of that demand by imposing a tax.
The thought is the US can tax foreign people. It is based on taxation without representation, but no one complains about it. But with the US taxing those foreigners, then the question becomes, how does that reduce investments? It’s up to foreigners to say, “I’d rather just invest in Siemens because the US is raising taxes.” Or when renting a car in Orlando, “I’ll just go to Austin, rent a car there and it won’t be as expensive.” That’s a long-winded starting point. The big problem is, income taxes get paid by someone. Who that someone is matters — we don’t necessarily know. It’s generally more higher income and foreigners than the population as a whole.
Just to modify very slightly what you have said, because you use the phrase “widely distributed” referring to who owns equities. You mentioned 401K’s. Union pension funds own equities. Life insurance companies own equities. Why do we care about life insurance companies? Because life insurance companies sell life insurance and they sell it to all segments of the economic strata. Low-income people probably have some life insurance. Therefore, they pay premiums. If the life insurance companies investment division is more profitable, then their income is taxed lower over time. If you have any faith in the markets at all, that will be reflected in lower premiums.
Even though you have shared with us the conventional wisdom that when corporations pay taxes, that doesn’t in any meaningful way, result in higher prices. That’s because of the fact that the economy now is global. Corporations don’t have the freedom to simply raise taxes. They become less competitive with their foreign competition. Therefore, because of the market, it doesn’t find its way in price increases very much, but it does find its way into coming out of the workers’ pockets and coming out of the shareholders’ pockets. Shareholders, while it means the rich to a meaningful degree, it also means everybody. Therefore, when the federal government says, “Let’s increase corporate taxes,” you have to learn to read between the lines. They are taxing, as Frederic Basiat observed, the unseen. They are taxing workers. They are taxing equity holders directly and indirectly.
Biden should be saying, “I am secretly taxing these individuals. I’m hiding behind the political cover of saying I’m taxing a corporation, as if a corporation is your next door neighbor.”
Only people pay taxes one way or the other. That is kind of disingenuous, and it’s economically inaccurate. The decision to support or not support a corporate tax increase is a decision to support or not support a secret tax on select and widely-dispersed individuals.
Yellen’s Proposal: A Global Minimum Corporate Tax?
As to corporate taxation, there’s been a lot in the news lately about Janet Yellen’s plan of negotiating with our trading partners in Europe and in Asia — the first tier of economic powerhouses — to agree to enter into something which, in the private sector, would send them to jail for monopolistic practices. Yellen is trying to get all countries to agree on some minimum corporate tax, so that countries like Ireland and Estonia, which have enhanced their country’s economy by wooing corporations with lower corporate income taxes, don’t enjoy that advantage.
Tell us what’s going on. Give us your opinion on the Yellen proposal to in effect enter into an agreement in restraint of trade — to conspire, so there are no tax havens for corporations on Earth.
The idea is that there shouldn’t be a way to escape all corporate taxation. It’s definitely a big deal developing and it has developed over time. There have been discussions about minimum tax even before this administration took office. The Trump administration was not as adamant about it for sure, but was heading in this direction as well. The idea is to basically put a floor under corporate taxes globally. You don’t need everyone. You really need just the major countries. If you got the G20 on board on this, there really wouldn’t be much of a place to go.
We had a long period of years where companies were able to route corporate income through Ireland to Bermuda, or the Caymans, where it wasn’t taxed. The idea is to prevent that from happening again — to have an international agreement, like we have on all sorts of other things, to create that floor. The idea is that if you’re a company headquartered in Ireland, you would have to pay 15% on your foreign income. Interestingly, the US is one of the few or only large countries that has something like this now. The Trump administration has 10.5% minimum tax on your company’s foreign income. It exists now. Companies are paying it. They’re not thrilled about it. In some ways, what the US is trying to do is to increase our minimum tax, and then also get other countries to do it.
Part of the way the US can enforce this is the hammer. If you get a bunch of countries in there, and then there’s some potential outliers, the US has what is probably the shield proposal. This goes back to the car rental tax analogy that the US market is so big and so attractive that companies really need and want to be here. Any global company of any particular size needs to operate in the US. The idea behind the shield says, “If you’re operating in the US, and you’re sending profits back to some country with a very low tax rate, then we will just deny deductions here in US operations,” which is basically the same thing as taxing it, and therefore, imposes a very large tax on companies headquartered in countries without minimum taxes. That will either punish them or induce them to join. Congress would have to approve all of this. The idea is that the US and other countries using their economic might to get money out of large companies, made sure there’s some minimum.
It is anti-competitive. The phrase you often read about is a “race to the bottom.” The US has concluded that for countries to compete for corporate business investment by inducing companies to be domiciled in their country. The inducement is lower taxes. That is tax competition. “Come here, our taxes are lower.” States do it, and countries do it.
The US has said, “Let’s get rid of the competition by having us all sign this anti-competition, anti-race-to-the-bottom. We’ll all agree that corporations will have no place to hide. Therefore we got them,” which means now the US has no need to use tax dollars efficiently and to lower tax rates, because they’re not going to lose any taxpayers. It’s like a minimum wage for taxation, where no one is allowed to pay less than a certain amount.
The Biden administration, in one of their pending tax bills — some Recovery Act — have the word “recovery” in there. I always ask myself, “Recovery from what?” We’re doing just fine. Different subject, different day. The Biden administration has tried to, in their domestic tax policy proposals, prevent states from using this wealth they are getting from the federal government to reduce their state taxes. Biden doesn’t want that to happen because New York, California, and Illinois are at a competitive disadvantage because their taxes are high. Corporations and individuals are voting with their feet. Biden is determined to eliminate any tax competition whether it’s between states or between countries. It’s all consistent with this fear of competition. What do you think, assuming Yellen/Biden succeed, will be the effect on the economy and, more importantly, on you, me, and the people we love?
One thing that I watched in this respect is what is called rate gap. There still can be arbitrage opportunities for companies. The global floor is 15%. Let’s say that a minimum of 15% as a company headquartered in Ireland, the UK or Spain or wherever. The US domestic tax rate is 25%. The administration wants 28%, but it’s clearly not going to happen. The US says a US-based company has to pay 21% on their foreign income. Take the clean example of 18%, if the spread is 3 points — 5 points between a US-headquartered company and a foreign company. That’s going to matter. My general opinion is that basically taxing matters, but not as much as you might think. Taxing matters. Companies will say that whether it be through inversions themselves or through US companies, not the giants, but still sizable ones getting bought by companies from other countries, or for startup idea stuff to happen more with non-US domiciled companies than US companies.
They’re concerned that companies will find ways to not be American. That means their jobs go along with that. The counter to that would be that we just cut corporate taxes a lot. Did the economy really do all the things that they said it would do? Maybe taxes don’t really matter so much, and that there’s lots of what you might think of as (the loaded economic term) excess profit, i.e., companies make so much profit that they’re not really going to change their behavior very much at all. It’s unknown. There’s certainly some potential effects that might happen. As we get a clear sense of the mix between what a global deal is, what other countries do, and what the US Congress agrees to, we’ll have a better feel for how that might shake out.
Does Amazon “Pay No Taxes”?
You have written a lot about my favorite company, only because I’m such a consumer of their goods and services. That company is Amazon. There has been a lot of hyperbole in the media, that Amazon with all of its enormous economic well-being, “pays no taxes,” followed by five exclamation points. The phrase is dead wrong, but I’d like you to speak to it because there’s so much misunderstanding about Amazon. Amazon is not a tax cheat. If it pays no taxes, it pays no taxes because that’s what the tax law says. Amazon and its management do not have to go to jail. They are simply complying with the law. Help us read between the lines of Amazon pays no taxes.
Let’s unpack that a bit. The first set of things is a measurement challenge. Just like your tax return is private, and so is mine — so is our corporate tax return. When people are making these judgments based on financial statements, and their financial statements often can give you a close approximation of the tax return, they don’t actually give you a year-by-year blow-by-blow.
Take a really simple example: if a company has been audited based on stuff they did in tax year 2012, the result of that audit comes in 2021, and the company has to pay a billion dollars more, that shows up in the financial statements as a billion dollars of taxes paid. It has nothing to do with what the company did in 2021. They are just weird timing and measurement things that come in when you look at this. We know that, but in the popular and politician discussion that understandably gets lost.
Don’t necessarily assume that a company’s cheating, but companies can be very aggressive with how they’re playing the tax code. Amazon had a long-running case in the US tax board about its transactions with its entity in Luxembourg. There are things that are gray areas in the tax code. Sometimes, one of the ways companies pay relatively low taxes is by not doing things that are going to necessarily get executives into jail, but are things that are questionable. The IRS questions them. Sometimes the court decides in the company’s favor. Sometimes they settle in the middle. You can’t say that there are no shenanigans going on, because there may well be. A lot of what’s happening is there is a third category that you alluded to, which is the way the tax law works right there.
Congress has written the tax code to give companies certain breaks. In Amazon’s case, there are a couple that are worth talking about. One is research and development. The Congress has created a research and development tax write-off that basically subsidizes companies’ private research under the theory that companies will do a lot of research, creating spillover benefits for the broader economy. They’re inventing things and pushing innovation forward, and that has broader public benefit. Therefore, we should subsidize it. That’s basically the argument. Amazon does that kind of research all the time. The same thing is true in renewable energies as well. There are other kinds of companies that can do more, government subsidized taxes. If the government did it through a spending program, that would be economically the same, but it just wouldn’t. Their tax rate would be higher. If we created an R&D corporate subsidy program that was outside of the Internal Revenue Code, then you could have companies look like they’re paying higher taxes, and then getting government spending [as a subsidy].
Then second is accelerated depreciation. This goes into the first thing we talked about having financial statements. Companies, for tax purposes, can take deductions immediately for capital expenses, things like buying equipment, building factories, all that kind of stuff. Again, to encourage investment is the idea. On their tax bill, their deductions and their profits will look larger. During the [period in question], profitable companies are not paying taxes but for financial statement purposes those costs get spread over time.
Companies don’t look profitable on the tax side because they have all these deductions up front, but they look profitable on the financial statements side because those deductions happen over time, over the life of the asset. You have this mismatch between when tax deductions happen and when financial statement deductions happen. That creates the appearance that companies are not paying taxes when they’re very profitable, which is true, but you have to understand where that’s coming from. You do have to understand the mechanics of what’s happening — why a particular company might have that effect, and it’s not always going to be the same thing.
That invites an important observation about the purpose of taxation. One of the purposes of taxation is to raise money. The second purpose of taxation is to influence behavior. It’s true at the personal level. Government, if they want you to behave or not to behave in a certain way, will incentivize you. That’s a euphemism. They will incentivize you to behave in a certain way, by tax policy. They don’t want you to smoke: high cigarette taxes. They don’t want you to drink liquor: high liquor taxes. They want you to buy certain stuff: you get a subsidy. They don’t want you to buy other stuff: you pay a tax. Sugared soda has a higher tax, so you’re discouraged from doing it. The government wants you to have lots and lots of babies, so they give you child care tax credits. Government makes zillions of value judgments about how we should live our lives rather than do it overtly by directing everybody to have 10 kids, they just reward you with tax policy, by subsidizing child care and the like.
All Amazon has done is the government has decided as a matter of governmental policy that we want Amazon to spend money on research and development, because if they do, they make workers more productive, which means workers get to be paid more, because they’re more productive. Amazon gets to improve their product, which means they lower prices, and the consumers have a better buying experience. That’s good for consumers, good for the country. The government incentivizes Amazon to do research and development. Amazon responds in spades to the incentive, and spends buckets of money on research and development, and gets rewarded with accelerated deductions on those expenses. Then Amazon gets pilloried in the press for not paying any taxes, when all it did was respond to a sensible governmental stimulus.
What the government really wishes they had done is compel Amazon to spend money on research and development, and not take a deduction for it on top of it. Government can’t do that for zillions of political and economic reasons. Now what they do is they incentivize Amazon with tax incentives, and then they punish them in the media for having done so. When you read politicians complaining that Amazon pays no taxes, you must read between the lines and understand what is going on.
Imagine There’s No Corporate Income Tax
Would the world be a better place and your opinion on those bases if there were no business income tax? I have always believed that if the goal of taxation is to raise money, then when the government taxes corporations, they are really taxing individuals selectively — shareholders and workers — and consumers to some small degree. If you’re going to tax the individuals, ultimately, just be honest about it and raise the individual income tax however you wish to do it to make up for the lost revenue.
Don’t tax entities at all, because taxing entities merely means entities such as Amazon, will make business decisions because of the tax benefit not because of the economic benefit, and it distorts the use of capital. Would the world be a better place from those measurements if there were no corporate income tax, and why?
I’m not going to offer an opinion on that. Let me talk about a couple of considerations that might come in the other direction that might argue toward why one might want to keep a corporate income tax given all the things that you just laid out. One is the foreigners that we talked about earlier. In a weird way, 40% of US equities or something are owned by foreigners. It’s a very big number. We can’t tax those people. The US has no way to say, “Random investor in Tokyo, you owe us money.” The corporate income tax operates as a way of taxing foreigners. It can be a useful tool for taxing the other guy — the guy behind the tree. That’s one argument for it.
The other is that you can end up in weird situations where if you didn’t tax corporations, the money would stay in the corporation and not be distributed to shareholders. It doesn’t get to people, you can tax quite as easily. Taxing the company can act as a way to get money there sooner. It’s also in some ways inefficient for the reasons you outlined. You can, however, think of it as somewhat efficient in the sense that we think of corporations as tax collectors. They’re entities that care a lot about compliance, and have a compliance infrastructure inside of them. If you think of corporations as tax collectors, you’d rather have the Fortune 500 as tax collectors, rather than many millions of people and then the IRS going after them individually is at some level a more inefficient way of taxing.
The last thing I would say is, “compared to what?” It depends on what your aims are. If your aims are for a progressive tax system that taxes high income and wealthy people more than lower income and middle income households, then the corporate income tax compared to say, making the payroll tax or raising the 10% bracket to 12% or any other number, or lowering the child tax credit or any other number of policy changes you could put on the other side of the ledger. It’s actually going to be more progressive because of how concentrated ownership is. That’s another argument. If you were comparing it to, say, things like waiving the top individual income tax rate, or raising the capital gains rate or raising the estate tax, or things that are even more targeted at very high income, high wealth households, then maybe the corporate income tax is a less useful tool. It really is about what your political aims are, and with some of those administrative considerations about ease of collection, ease of compliance, taxing foreigners.
As to corporations, if you don’t tax corporations, the money will stay in the corporation. In our equities marketplace that we have in America today, indeed in the world, a corporation which retains wealth, but doesn’t use it to produce more wealth, will be punished pretty severely. There will be raids on management. There will be hostile takeovers. Shareholders will rebel. Why are you withholding money from us and not distributing it as dividends? Therefore, we are going to punish you by selling the stock and buying stock in a company that more intelligently manages. Corporations do take extra money and do it to buy back their shares for the marketplace, which increases the price, because corporations make a decision: This wealth is better off in the hands of our owners, our shareholders, rather than in our hands. To some degree, the market would punish that behavior.
As to taxing foreigners, if there is no corporate taxation, then the return to shareholders, including foreigners, would be higher, which means corporations do not have to pay as much out in dividends to keep the foreign investors happy. The money from foreigners flows in to help our domestic corporations prosper. The money stays in the corporation.
Who Spends the Money Better? Business or Government?
Now, you have made your career studying tax policy. The whole topic of taxation is that it is all our money — individuals money. The question is who will best use $1 of our money to enhance our well-being? The government enhances our well-being. If they do that by protecting us, by running the court system, running the police department, and protecting our person and property, doing all of these traditional governmental functions, then the government is a provider of well-being and we have to pay for that well-being by giving them money. As you increase taxes, ultimately it is — collectively through the ballot box — an individual deciding what percentage of $1 of my individual’s money will I get the most well-being by giving it. Will I get more well-being by giving money to the government or more well-being giving it to business?
Remember, it was business who gave us the iPhone, that increases your well-being. It was business, who in the form of Amazon, delivers goods, even before you want them at your front door. We get profound well-being and benefits to our health, welfare and safety from business. When we give money to business, we get a benefit. When we give money to the government, we get a benefit. Isn’t it true as individuals examine tax policy? They are making a decision, where are they getting the most well-being for the dollar spent? Doesn’t that fit into the discussion a bit? Is the government better to give you $1 of wellbeing for the dollar? Or is it private business? Isn’t that the core of tax policy?
It’s interesting you frame it that way. Taxing is normally inextricably tied to spending the money the government raises. Now we’re in an interesting mode, where for a variety of reasons, we’re able to economically run pretty sizable, persistent budget deficits and borrow quite cheaply. We’re getting far more than the dollar worth of spending for every dollar taxing. At some level, in the long run it’ll balance out eventually, because we’ll just keep borrowing. The point is that we’re getting more than $1 of spending from $3 of taxing. Whereas that’s not true for business, I spend eight bucks at Amazon to get an eight dollar thing. I spent $8 in taxes, I’m getting $11 or $12. That means there are other purposes of taxation too. I think it is becoming more prevalent than the redistribution that we’ve talked about — that the idea is to level wealth and income a little bit through the tax system, which has always been there. As there are budget deficits, that becomes a more important or higher ranking consideration for many.
The other thing is the behavioral aspect. That’s one of the reasons we tax. We tax to affect behavior or don’t tax to affect behavior. That can be things like wealth accumulation. It can be things like mortgage interest. I think that model that you laid out works, but not quite as well in this kind of moment with the persistent budget deficits, where that link between taxing and spending is just more tenuous than it is at the local level and more tenuous than it used to be.
This is Bob Zadek. I spent a wonderful hour speaking with Richard Rubin, who is the US tax policy reporter for The Wall Street Journal. He writes extensively and often on tax policy. Please follow Richard writing at the Wall Street Journal. Tax policy will be in the news every day forever, Richard, so keep your pen and computer handy. If you’ve enjoyed this podcast and this live broadcast, please so indicate on your podcast provider. Tell us what you like and what you don’t like. We appreciate all of your comments. If you have a topic you’d like us to discuss, we’ll be happy to respond and satisfy your every intellectual need.
Thank you so much for listening this Sunday morning.
- Richard Rubin (@RichardRubinDC) / Twitter
- Richard Rubin — News, Articles, Biography, Photos — WSJ.com
- Who Would Pay Biden’s Corporate Tax Increase Is Key Question in Policy Debate — WSJ by Richard Rubin
- David Henderson on Trumponomics, Deficits, and Immigration, April 1, 2019
- Stephen Moore on Trumponomics, October 7, 2018