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Fiscal Paradise: Foreign Tax Havens and American Business

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  • James R. Hines, Jr.
  • Eric M. Rice

Abstract

The offshore tax haven affiliates of American corporations account for more than a quarter of US foreign investment, an nearly a third of the foreign profits of US firms. This paper analyzes the origins of this tax haven activity and its implications for the US and foreign governments. Based on the behavior of US fins in 1982, it appears that American companies report extraordinarily high profit rates on both their real and their financial investments in tax havens. We calculate from this behavior that the tax rate that maximizes tax revenue for a typical haven is around 6%. The revenue implications for the US are more complicated, since tax havens may ultimately enhance the ability of the US government to tax the foreign earnings of American companies.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3477.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3477.

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Date of creation: Oct 1990
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Publication status: published as Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol 109, February 1994, pp 149-182
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3477

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