Cross-Country Comparisons of Corporate Income Taxes
AbstractTo our knowledge, this paper provides the most comprehensive analysis of firm-level corporate income taxes to date. We use publicly available financial statement information for 11,602 public corporations from 82 countries from 1988 to 2009 to estimate country-level effective tax rates (ETRs). We find that the location of a multinational and its subsidiaries substantially affects its worldwide ETR. Japanese firms always faced the highest ETRs. U.S. multinationals are among the highest taxed. Multinationals based in tax havens face the lowest taxes. We find that ETRs have been falling over the last two decades; however, the ordinal rank from high-tax countries to low-tax countries has changed little. We also find little difference between the ETRs of multinationals and domestic-only firms. Besides enhancing our knowledge about international taxes, these findings should provide some empirical underpinning for ongoing policy debates about the taxation of multinationals.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16839.
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Markle, Kevin S. and Douglas A. Shackelford, “Cross-Country Comparisons of Corporate Income Taxes,” National Tax Journal 65:3, September 2012, 493-527.
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
- K34 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Tax Law
- M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Accounting - - - Accounting
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