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International Debt Shifting: Do Multinationals Shift Internal or External Debt?

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  • Schindler, Dirk
  • Møen, Jarle
  • Schjelderup, Guttorm
  • Tropina, Julia

Abstract

Multinational companies can exploit the tax advantage of debt more aggressively than national companies. Besides utilizing the standard debt tax shield, multinationals can shift debt from affiliates in low-tax countries to affiliates in high-tax countries. We study the capital structure of multinationals and expand previous theory by incorporating debt tax shield effects from both internal and external capital markets. A main finding is that firm value is maximized if both internal and external debt is used, and that internal lending should be conducted through a financial center in the lowest-taxed affiliate. Testing our model using a large panel of German multinationals, we identify all three debt tax shields. Our estimates suggest that internal and external debt shifting are of about equal relevance. --

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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order with number 79749.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:79749

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Cited by:
  1. Lars P. Feld & Jost Henrich Heckemeyer & Michael Overesch, 2011. "Capital Structure Choice and Company Taxation: A Meta-Study," CESifo Working Paper Series 3400, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Scheuering, Uwe, 2013. "M&A and the Tax Benefits of Debt Financing," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79817, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  3. Schindler, Dirk & Schjelderup, Guttorm, 2014. "Transfer Pricing and Debt Shifting in Multinationals," Discussion Papers 2014/22, Department of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics.

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