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Incentives and Information Exchange in International Taxation

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  • Keen, M.
  • Ligthart, J.E.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

The exchange of taxpayer-specific information between national tax authorities has recently emerged as a key and controversial topic in international tax policy discussions, most notably with the OECD s harmful tax practices project and the EU s savings tax initiative.This paper analyses the effects of information exchange and withholding taxes, recognizing that countries which agree to exchange information do not forfeit the ability to levy withholding taxes, and also focusing in particular on the effects of innovative revenuesharing arrangements.Amongst the findings are that: (i) the transfer of withholding tax receipts to the residence country, as planned in the EU, has no effect on equilibrium tax rates, but acts purely as a lump sum transfer; (ii) in contrast, allocating some of the revenue from information exchange to the source country counter to usual practice (though no less so than the EU agreement) would have adverse strategic effects on total revenue; (iii) nevertheless, any withholding tax regime is Pareto dominated by information exchange combined with appropriate revenue sharing; and, in particular, (iv) sharing of the additional revenues raised from information provided, while efficiency-reducing, could be in the interests of large (high-tax) countries as a means of persuading small (low-tax) countries to provide that information voluntarily.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2004-54.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:200454

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Keywords: incentives; information; taxation; competition; international economics;

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  1. Bacchetta, Philippe & Espinosa, Maria Paz, 1995. "Information sharing and tax competition among governments," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1-2), pages 103-121, August.
  2. Nielsen, Soren Bo, 2001. " A Simple Model of Commodity Taxation and Cross-Border Shopping," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(4), pages 599-623, December.
  3. Huizinga, H.P. & Nicodeme, G., 2004. "Are international deposits tax-driven?," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-142606, Tilburg University.
  4. Ravi Kanbur & Michael Keen, 1991. "Jeux Sans Frontieres: Tax Competition and Tax Coordination when Countries Differ in Size," Working Papers 819, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  5. Wolfgang Eggert & Martin Kolmar, 2004. "The Taxation of Financial Capital under Asymmetric Information and the Tax-competition Paradox," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(1), pages 83-106, 03.
  6. Philippe Bacchetta & María Espinosa, 2000. "Exchange-of-Information Clauses in International Tax Treaties," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 275-293, May.
  7. Haufler, Andreas, 1996. "Tax Coordination with Different Preferences for Public Goods: Conflict or Harmony of Interest?," Munich Reprints in Economics 20392, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  8. Wolfgang Eggert & Martin Kolmar, 2002. "Residence-Based Capital Taxation in a Small Open Economy: Why Information is Voluntarily Exchanged and Why it is Not," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 465-482, August.
  9. Huizinga, Harry & Nielsen, Soren Bo, 2003. "Withholding taxes or information exchange: the taxation of international interest flows," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 39-72, January.
  10. Razin, A. & Sadka, E., 1991. "International Fiscal Policy Coordination and Competition," Papers 3-91, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
  11. Trandel, Gregory A., 1994. "Interstate commodity tax differentials and the distribution of residents," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 435-457, March.
  12. Michael Keen & David Wildasin, 2004. "Pareto-Efficient International Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 259-275, March.
  13. Michael Keen & Jenny Ligthart, 2006. "Information Sharing and International Taxation: A Primer," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 81-110, January.
  14. Wilson, John Douglas, 1987. "Trade, Capital Mobility, and Tax Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(4), pages 835-56, August.
  15. Nico A. Hansen & Anke S. Kessler, 2001. "The Political Geography of Tax H(e)avens and Tax Hells," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1103-1115, September.
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