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The taxation of passive foreign investment: lessons from German experience

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  • Martin Ruf
  • Alfons J. Weichenrieder

Abstract

The paper evaluates the working of German CFC rules that restrict the use of foreign subsidiaries located in low-tax countries to shelter passive investment income from home taxation. While passive investments make up a significant fraction of German outbound FDI, we find that German CFC rules are quite effective in restricting investments in low-tax jurisdictions. We find evidence that the German 2001 tax reform, which unilaterally introduced exemption of passive income in medium- and high-tax countries, has led to some shifting of passive assets into countries for which the exemption was previously limited.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 45 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 1504-1528

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:45:y:2012:i:4:p:1504-1528

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References

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  1. Manning, W. G. & Duan, N. & Rogers, W. H., 1987. "Monte Carlo evidence on the choice between sample selection and two-part models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 59-82, May.
  2. Alfons Weichenrieder, 2005. "(Why) Do we need Corporate Taxation?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1495, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Rosanne Altshuler & Harry Grubert, 2001. "Repatriation Taxes, Repatriation Strategies and Multinational Financial Policy," NBER Working Papers 8144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2006. "The Log of Gravity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 641-658, November.
  5. Ramb, Fred & Weichenrieder, Alfons J., 2005. "Taxes and the financial structure of German inward FDI," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,05, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  6. Thiess Buettner & Martin Ruf, 2007. "Tax incentives and the location of FDI: Evidence from a panel of German multinationals," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 151-164, April.
  7. Alfons Weichenrieder, 1996. "Anti-tax-avoidance provisions and the size of foreign direct investment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 67-81, January.
  8. Jack M. Mintz, 2003. "Conduit Entities: Implications of Indirect Tax-Efficient Financing Structures for Real Investment," International Tax Program Papers 0410, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, revised Sep 2004.
  9. Alfons J. Weichenrieder & Jack Mintz, 2008. "What determines the use of holding companies and ownership chains?," Working Papers 0803, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  10. Egger, Peter & Larch, Mario, 2008. "Interdependent preferential trade agreement memberships: An empirical analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 384-399, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Stefan Bach, 2013. "Has German Business Income Taxation Raised too Little Revenue over the Last Decades?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1303, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Shafik Hebous, 2011. "Money at the Docks of Tax Havens: A Guide," CESifo Working Paper Series 3587, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Theresa Lohse & Nadine Riedel, 2013. "Do transfer pricing laws limit international income shifting? Evidence from European multinationals," Working Papers 1307, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  4. Jarle Møen & Dirk Schindler & Guttorm Schjelderup & Julia Tropina, 2011. "International Debt Shifting: Do Multinationals Shift Internal or External Debt?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3519, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Gumpert, Anna & Hines Jr., James R. & Schnitzer, Monika, 2012. "The use of tax havens in exemption regimes," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 381, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  6. Thiess Buettner & Georg Wamser, 2009. "Internal Debt and Multinationals' Profit Shifting - Empirical Evidence from Firm-Level Panel Data," Working Papers 0918, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  7. Dirk Schindler & Guttorm Schjelderup, 2010. "Multinationals, Minority Ownership and Tax-Efficient Financing Structures," CESifo Working Paper Series 3034, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Egger, Peter & Wamser, Georg, 2011. "The Impact of Controlled Foreign Company Legislation on Real Investments Abroad: A Two-dimensional Regression Discontinuity Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 8460, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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