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Taking the Long Way Home: U.S. Tax Evasion and Offshore Investments in U.S. Equity and Debt Markets

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  • MICHELLE HANLON
  • EDWARD L. MAYDEW
  • JACOB R. THORNOCK

Abstract

type="main"> We empirically investigate one form of illegal investor-level tax evasion and its effect on foreign portfolio investment. In particular, we examine a form of round-tripping tax evasion in which U.S. individuals hide funds in entities located in offshore tax havens and then invest those funds in U.S. securities markets. Employing Becker's ( ) economic theory of crime, we identify the tax evasion component by examining how foreign portfolio investment varies with changes in the incentives to evade and the risks of detection. To our knowledge, this is the first empirical evidence of investor-level tax evasion affecting cross-border equity and debt investment.

Suggested Citation

  • Michelle Hanlon & Edward L. Maydew & Jacob R. Thornock, 2015. "Taking the Long Way Home: U.S. Tax Evasion and Offshore Investments in U.S. Equity and Debt Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 70(1), pages 257-287, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:70:y:2015:i:1:p:257-287
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/jofi.12120
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    Cited by:

    1. Annette Alstadsæter & Martin Jacob, 2018. "Tax Incentives and Noncompliance," Public Finance Review, , vol. 46(4), pages 609-634, July.
    2. Huizinga, Harry & Todtenhaupt, Maximilian & Voget, Johannes & Wagner, W.B., 2019. "Taxation and the External Wealth of Nations : Evidence from Bilateral Portfolio Holdings," Discussion Paper 2019-029, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    3. James O’Donovan & Hannes F Wagner & Stefan Zeume, 2019. "The Value of Offshore Secrets: Evidence from the Panama Papers," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 32(11), pages 4117-4155.
    4. Menkhoff, Lukas & Miethe, Jakob, 2019. "Tax evasion in new disguise? Examining tax havens' international bank deposits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 53-78.
    5. Paul Demeré & Michael P. Donohoe & Petro Lisowsky, 2020. "The Economic Effects of Special Purpose Entities on Corporate Tax Avoidance," Contemporary Accounting Research, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 37(3), pages 1562-1597, September.
    6. Choy, Siu Kai & Lai, Tat-Kei & Ng, Travis, 2017. "Do tax havens create firm value?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 198-220.
    7. Casi, Elisa & Spengel, Christoph & Stage, Barbara M.B., 2020. "Cross-border tax evasion after the common reporting standard: Game over?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 190(C).
    8. Pham, Tho & Talavera, Oleksandr & Yang, Junhong, 2016. "Multimarket Competition and Profitability: Evidence from Ukrainian banking," MPRA Paper 78763, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Apr 2017.
    9. Alfons J. Weichenrieder & Fangying Xu, 2019. "Are tax havens good? Implications of the crackdown on secrecy," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 127(2), pages 147-160, July.
    10. Braun, Julia & Weichenrieder, Alfons, 2015. "Does exchange of information between tax authorities influence multinationals' use of tax havens?," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-015, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    11. Andersson, Jonas & Schroyen, Fred & Torsvik, Gaute, 2019. "The impact of international tax information exchange agreements on the use of tax amnesty: evidence from Norway," Discussion Papers 2019/12, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    12. Fauser, Hannes, 2019. "On income tax avoidance - the case of Germany revisited," VfS Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203550, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Niels Johannesen & Patrick Langetieg & Daniel Reck & Max Risch & Joel Slemrod, 2020. "Taxing Hidden Wealth: The Consequences of US Enforcement Initiatives on Evasive Foreign Accounts," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 312-346, August.
    14. Alejandro Esteller-Moré & Shafik Hebous & Niels Johannesen & Katarzyna Anna Bilicka, 2018. "The Present and Future of Tax Havens / El presente y futuro de los paraísos fiscales / El present i futur dels paradisos fiscals," IEB Reports ieb_report_4_2018, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    15. Michelle Hanlon & Jeffrey L. Hoopes & Joel Slemrod, 2019. "Tax Reform Made Me Do It!," Tax Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 33-80.
    16. Casi, Elisa & Nenadic, Sara & Orlic, Mark Dinko & Spengel, Christoph, 2019. "A call to action: From evolution to revolution on the Common Reporting Standard," ZEW Discussion Papers 18-035, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    17. Marchiori, Luca & Pierrard, Olivier, 2018. "Unlocking the gates of paradise: General equilibrium effects of information exchange," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 152-172.
    18. Ma, Yong & Jiang, Hao & Xiao, Weilin, 2021. "Tax evasion, audits with memory, and portfolio choice," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 896-909.
    19. Jakob Miethe & Helge Niesytka, 2016. "Tax Evasion and the Impact of International Regulation: A Summary of Empirical Results," DIW Roundup: Politik im Fokus 104, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    20. Kemme, David M. & Parikh, Bhavik & Steigner, Tanja, 2020. "Tax Morale and International Tax Evasion," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 55(3).
    21. Anaya, Pablo & Hachula, Michael & Offermanns, Christian J., 2017. "Spillovers of U.S. unconventional monetary policy to emerging markets: The role of capital flows," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 73(PB), pages 275-295.
    22. Chernykh, Lucy & Mityakov, Sergey, 2017. "Offshore schemes and tax evasion: The role of banks," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(3), pages 516-542.
    23. Jakob Miethe, 2020. "The Elusive Banker: Using Hurricanes to Uncover (Non-)Activity in Offshore Financial Centers," CESifo Working Paper Series 8625, CESifo.

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