Company taxation and tax spillovers: Separate accounting versus formula apportionment
It is observed in the real world that taxes matter for location decisions and that multinationals shift profits by transfer pricing. The US and Canada use so-called formula apportionment (FA) to tax corporate income, and the EU is debating a switch from separate accounting (SA) to FA. This paper develops a theoretical model that compares basic properties of FA to SA. The focal point of the analysis is how changes in tax rates affect capital formation, input choice, and transfer pricing, as well as on spillovers on tax revenue in other countries. The analysis shows that a move from SA to FA will not eliminate such spillovers and will, in cases identified in the paper, actually aggravate them.
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