sábado, 21 de abril de 2007

Intercompany Loans and Profit Shifting

Intercompany Loans and Profit Shifting – Evidence from Company-Level Data
Thiess Buettner (Ifo Institute for Economic Research and CESifo) and Georg Wamser (Ifo Institute for Economic Research) published this paper on March 2007 at CESifo Working Paper Series No. 1959.

Here is the Abstract:

This paper is concerned with tax-planning strategies of multinational corporations. A theoretical analysis discusses the choice of the capital structure in a setting where intercompany loans can be used to shift profits to low-tax countries. Empirical evidence is provided using micro-level panel data of virtually all German multinationals made available by the Bundesbank. This comprehensive dataset allows us to exploit differences in taxing conditions of almost eighty countries during a period of nine years.

The empirical results confirm a robust impact of tax-rate differences within the multinational group on the use of intercompany loans, supporting the profit-shifting hypothesis. However, the implied tax-revenue effects are rather small, suggesting that costs related to adjusting the capital structure for profit-shifting purposes are substantial.

Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=981120

viernes, 20 de abril de 2007

Which Countries Become Tax Havens?

Which Countries Become Tax Havens?
Dhammika Dharmapala (University of Connecticut) and James R. Hines Jr. (University of Michigan) published this paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) in December 2006.

Here is the Abstract:

This paper analyzes the factors influencing whether countries become tax havens. Roughly 15 percent of countries are tax havens; as has been widely observed, these countries tend to be small and affluent. This paper documents another robust empirical regularity: better-governed countries are much more likely than others to become tax havens. Using a variety of empirical approaches, and controlling for other relevant factors, governance quality has a statistically significant and quantitatively large impact on the probability of being a tax haven. For a typical country with a population under one million, the likelihood of a becoming a tax haven rises from 24 percent to 63 percent as governance quality improves from the level of Brazil to that of Portugal.

The effect of governance on tax haven status persists when the origin of a country's legal system is used as an instrument for its quality of its governance. Low tax rates offer much more powerful inducements to foreign investment in well-governed countries than elsewhere, which may explain why poorly governed countries do not generally attempt to become tax havens - and suggests that the range of sensible tax policy options is constrained by the quality of governance.

Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=952721

lunes, 16 de abril de 2007

Mason on Tax Discrimination in the EU

Proffessor Ruth Mason (UConn) has published an interesting report entitled In Search of Internal Consistency: Tax Discrimination in the EU, 46 Colum. J. Trans. L ___ (2007), on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

The European Union was created to bind the countries of Europe together economically to prevent future wars. Rigorous enforcement of EU nationals' fundamental economic freedoms before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has furthered economic integration. The fundamental freedoms prohibit tax discrimination—harsher tax treatment of cross-border economic activities than purely internal activities. Critics of the ECJ argue that the Court's broad interpretation of the EC freedoms causes it to find tax discrimination where there is none. This tendency encroaches upon the sovereignty of EU member states and hampers their ability to pursue economic policy goals. In contrast, based upon a survey of all the ECJ's tax discrimination decisions, this Article offers a more nuanced critique that shows the ECJ's errors in tax discrimination cases go in both directions. In addition to finding discrimination where there is none, the Court also sometimes fails to recognize discrimination. The Court's failure to recognize tax discrimination undermines the economic integration of Europe and abridges EU nationals' personal rights.

This Article is the first to identify the Court's method of review in tax discrimination cases, the comparable internal situation test (CIST), as a principal contributor to the Court's difficulty in tax cases. Instead of CIST, the Article proposes that the ECJ borrow a method developed by the U.S. Supreme Court for tax cases arising under the Commerce Clause: the internal consistency test (ICT). Adoption of this simpler method should enable the ECJ to make more coherent tax decisions, which will promote economic efficiency and integration of the European common market.

domingo, 15 de abril de 2007

Lecture on VAT in the European Union

Here are the lecture by Prof. Dr. Michael Tumpel, made April 11, 2007.

Listen to Prof. Tumpel's Lecture:

Download the MP3

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Q & A:
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jueves, 5 de abril de 2007

In Praise of Tax Havens: International Tax Planning and Foreign Direct Investment

In Praise of Tax Havens: International Tax Planning and Foreign Direct Investment
Qing Hong (University of Toronto) and Michael Smart (University of Toronto) published this paper for the CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)CESifo Working Paper Series No. 1942

Here is the Abstract:

The multinationalization of corporate investment in recent years has given rise to a number of international tax avoidance schemes that may be eroding tax revenues in industrialized countries, but which may also reduce tax burdens on mobile capital and so facilitate investment. Both the welfare effects of and the optimal response to international tax planning are therefore ambiguous.

Evaluating these factors in a simple general equilibrium model, we find that citizens of high-tax countries benefit from (some) tax planning. Paradoxically, if tax rates are not too high, an increase in tax planning activity causes a rise in optimal corporate tax rates, and a decline in multinational investment. Thus fears of a "race to the bottom" in corporate tax rates may be misplaced.

Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=976577