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Company Taxes in the European Union: Criteria and Options for Reform

  • Sijbren Cnossen
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    In 1992, the Ruding Committee, appointed by the European Commission to examine the need for company tax (CT) harmonisation in the European Union (EU), presented its findings and recommendations.2 Although the Committee concluded that differences in CTs distort the workings of the internal market — differences which most likely would not be eliminated by market forces or tax competition — it none the less proposed to leave the CTs in the EU essentially the same as it had found them, replete with their widely diverging domestic and cross-border treatment of different kinds of returns and different kinds of recipients of the various returns. As argued below, however, differential treatment will perpetuate the distortions inherent to the current CTs and erode the taxing authority of source states. A minimum statutory CT rate of 30 per cent, proposed by the Ruding Committee, and the adoption of the (draft)

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    Article provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its journal Fiscal Studies.

    Volume (Year): 17 (1996)
    Issue (Month): 4 (November)
    Pages: 67-97

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    Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:17:y:1996:i:4:p:67-97
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    1. James M. Poterba, 1987. "Tax Policy and Corporate Saving," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(2), pages 455-516.
    2. Lockwood, Ben & Manning, Alan, 1993. "Wage setting and the tax system theory and evidence for the United Kingdom," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 1-29, August.
    3. Roger H. Gordon & Joel Slemrod, 1988. "Do We Collect Any Revenue from Taxing Capital Income?," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy: Volume 2, pages 89-130 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Easterbrook, Frank H, 1984. "Two Agency-Cost Explanations of Dividends," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 650-59, September.
    5. Steve Bond & Michael Devereux, 1993. "On the design of a neutral business tax under uncertainty," IFS Working Papers W93/01, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    6. Daly, Michael & Weiner, Joann M., 1993. "Corporate Tax Harmonization and Competition in Federal Countries: Some Lessons for the European Community?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(4), pages 441-61, December.
    7. Jack Mintz, 1995. "Corporation tax: a survey," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 16(4), pages 23-68, November.
    8. Harry Huizinga, 1994. "International interest withholding taxation: Prospects for a common European policy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 277-291, October.
    9. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 1989. "International Tax Competition and Gains from Tax Harmonization," NBER Working Papers 3152, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Cnossen, Sijbren, 1990. "The case for tax diversity in the European community," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(2-3), pages 471-479, May.
    11. Christian Schutte & Parthasrathi Shome, 1993. "Cash-Flow Tax," IMF Working Papers 93/2, International Monetary Fund.
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    17. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-155147 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Michael Devereux, 1992. "The Ruding Committee report : an economic assessment," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 13(2), pages 96-107, May.
    19. Williams, Joseph, 1988. " Efficient Signalling with Dividends, Investment, and Stock Repurchase s," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 737-47, July.
    20. Gordon, Roger & Kalambokidis, Laura & Slemrod, Joel, 2004. "Do we now collect any revenue from taxing capital income?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(5), pages 981-1009, April.
    21. Michael Devereux, 1992. "The harmonisation of corporate income taxes in Europe: the Ruding Committee Report," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 13(2), pages 108-121, May.
    22. McLure, Charles E. Jr., 1992. "Substituting Consumption-Based Direct Taxation for Income Taxes as the International Norm," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 45(2), pages 145-54, June.
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    25. David Bradford, 1991. "Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 5," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number brad91-1, January.
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