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Why Capital Income Taxes Survive in Open Economies: The Role of Multinational Firms

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Author Info

  • Clemens Fuest

    ()

  • Bernd Huber

    ()

Abstract

This paper discusses the role of multinational firms and double taxation treaties for corporate income taxation in open economies. We show that it is optimal for a small open economy to levy positive corporate income taxes if multinational firms are taxed according to the full taxation after deduction system or the foreign tax credit system. Positive corporate taxes also occur in the asymmetric case where some countries apply the exemption system and others apply the tax credit system. If all countries apply the exemption system, the optimal corporate income tax is zero. We also show that, under tax competition, corporate income taxes are not necessarily too low from the perspective of the economy as a whole. While the undertaxation result is confirmed for the case of the exemption system, tax rates may also be inefficiently high if the deduction or the credit systems are applied. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1020969604309
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 9 (2002)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
Pages: 567-589

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:9:y:2002:i:5:p:567-589

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102915

Related research

Keywords: corporate income taxation; tax competition; multinational firms; double taxation treaties;

References

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  1. Huber, Bernd, 1999. "Tax competition and tax coordination in an optimum income tax model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 441-458, March.
  2. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-29, June.
  3. Huizinga, H.P. & Nielsen, S.B., 1995. "Capital income and profits taxation with foreign ownership of firms," Discussion Paper 1995-82, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  4. Janeba,Eckhard, 1991. "Corporate income tax competition,Double taxation treaties, and foreign direct investment," Discussion Paper Serie A 361, University of Bonn, Germany.
  5. Gordon, Roger H, 1992. " Can Capital Income Taxes Survive in Open Economies?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(3), pages 1159-80, July.
  6. Bond, Eric W & Samuelson, Larry, 1989. "Strategic Behaviour and the Rules for International Taxation of Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(398), pages 1099-1111, December.
  7. Scharf, Kimberley Ann, 1995. "International Capital Tax Evasion and the Foreign Tax Credit Puzzle," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 434, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  8. Edwards, Jeremy & Keen, Michael, 1996. "Tax competition and Leviathan," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 113-134, January.
  9. Michael Devereux & Harold Freeman, 1995. "The impact of tax on foreign direct investment: Empirical evidence and the implications for tax integration schemes," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 85-106, February.
  10. MINTZ, Jacques & TULKENS , Henry, 1994. "Optimality Properties of Alternative Systems of Taxation of Foreign Capital Income," CORE Discussion Papers 1994078, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  11. Keen, Michael & Piekkola, Hannu, 1997. " Simple Rules for the Optimal Taxation of International Capital Income," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(3), pages 447-61, September.
  12. Roger H. Gordon & Hal R. Varian, 1986. "Taxation of Asset Income in the Presence of a World Securites Market," NBER Working Papers 1994, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Andreas Haufler, 1999. "Prospects for co-ordination of corporate taxation and the taxation of interest income in the EU," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 20(2), pages 133-153, June.
  14. Bucovetsky, Sam & Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Tax competition with two tax instruments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 333-350, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Clemens Fuest & Thomas Hemmelgarn, 2003. "Corporate Tax Policy, Foreign Firm Ownership and Thin Capitalization," CESifo Working Paper Series 1096, CESifo Group Munich.

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