The purpose of the study is to examine the effects of the corporate tax rate on sustainable development in the BRIC and CIVETS countries. This research employs a panel dataset for 2000–2021 years and applies panel data regression model to analyse the data. The study confirms the results checking the robustness through the fully modified ordinary least square and the dynamic ordinary least square panel estimate methods. The study passes several tests like cross-sectional dependence tests, unit root tests, and model selection tests before conducting the focal part of the analysis. The research finds that the corporate tax rate is positively and significantly associated with the sustainable development goals (SDG). The result implies that a higher rate of corporate tax plays vital role in achieving the sustainable development goals in the emerging economies. By including personal income tax, sales tax, and theoretical arguments, the study contributes to the debate on the corporate tax rate and the achievement of SDG in the emerging countries. The study applies both individual effects and combined effects of corporate tax rate, personal income tax, sales tax, and effective tax rate with SDG. In both cases, the research finds significant and positive association of taxation with SDG. Thus, the study argues that achieveing the SDG of emerging economies depends on the countries' taxation rate and policy. This research employs the most updated data set that also contributes to the existing literature of emerging economies. Thus, the findings generated from this study can be a policy dialogue for the academics, policy-makers and government bodies of BRIC and CIVETS countries and other emerging economies as well.