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Unilateral tax reform: Border adjusted taxes, cash flow taxes, and transfer pricing

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  • Bond, Eric W.
  • Gresik, Thomas A.

Abstract

We study the economic effects of unilateral adoption of corporate tax policies that include the choice between destination-based and source-based taxation and between cash flow and income taxes. We utilize a heterogeneous firm model in which monopolistically competitive North firms choose whether to outsource an intermediate good to an unrelated South firm or to produce in a subsidiary in the South. Standard pass through arguments no longer apply because of the income shifting behavior of multinationals and endogenous choice of organizational form. The high tax North country will prefer a destination-based tax over a source-based tax if it adopts a cash flow tax, but whether the cash flow tax is preferred to an income tax will depend on the volume of trade in the differentiated products sector. If the high tax country adopts a destination-based cash flow tax, the low tax country will prefer a destination-based income tax to capture rents from the foreign subsidiaries.

Suggested Citation

  • Bond, Eric W. & Gresik, Thomas A., 2020. "Unilateral tax reform: Border adjusted taxes, cash flow taxes, and transfer pricing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 184(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:184:y:2020:i:c:s0047272720300244
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2020.104160
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    Cited by:

    1. Kato, Hayato & Okoshi, Hiofumi, 2019. "Economic Integration and Agglomeration of Multinational Production with Transfer Pricing," Discussion Papers in Economics 62013, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    2. Manon François, 2021. "Profit Shifting and Equilibrium Principles of International Taxation," PSE Working Papers halshs-03265056, HAL.
    3. Thomas A., Gresik & Schjelderup, Guttorm, 2022. "Tax induced transfer pricing under universal adoption of the destination-based cash-flow tax," Discussion Papers 2022/8, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    4. Shafik Hebous & Alexander Klemm, 2020. "A destination-based allowance for corporate equity," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 27(3), pages 753-777, June.
    5. Hiroshi Mukunoki & Hirofumi Okoshi, 2021. "Tariff elimination versus tax avoidance: free trade agreements and transfer pricing," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 28(5), pages 1188-1210, October.
    6. Flach, Lisandra & Irlacher, Michael & Unger, Florian, 2021. "Corporate taxes and multi-product exporters: Theory and evidence from trade dynamics," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C).
    7. Quint, Ansgar F. & Rudsinske, Jonas F., 2020. "International trade and tax-motivated transfer pricing," University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics 406, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    8. Eric Bond & Thomas A. Gresik, 2021. "On the Incentive Compatibility of Universal Adoption of Destination-Based Cash Flow Taxation," CESifo Working Paper Series 8836, CESifo.
    9. Lioara-Veronica Pasc & Camelia-Daniela Hațegan, 2020. "Related Parties’ Transactions: A Literature Overview on Auditor’s Risk," Ovidius University Annals, Economic Sciences Series, Ovidius University of Constantza, Faculty of Economic Sciences, vol. 0(2), pages 1021-1030, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Border adjustments; Destination-based taxes; Source-based taxes; Cash flow taxes; Income taxes; Transfer pricing; Unilateral tax reform;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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