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Auditing internal transfer prices in multinationals under monopolistic competition

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  • Kenji Matsui

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Abstract

This paper derives an appropriate standard price that can be used by the tax authorities of a country for auditing transfer prices in multinational firms (MNFs) for the purpose of social welfare maximization of the country. We assume that the corporate tax rate in the host country, where MNFs undertake foreign direct investment to locate their manufacturing divisions, is lower than that in the home country. Our conclusion is that the tax authorities of the home country should not always force MNFs to hold down the transfer price through a too strict audit standard if it aims to maximize social welfare of the country in the long-run equilibrium. This result implies that tax authorities face a trade-off between consumer welfare and tax revenue when determining the standard price used for auditing. One notable implication is that the tax authorities should raise the upper-limit price allowed for internal transfers as the elasticity of substitution between brands for consumers decreases. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Kenji Matsui, 2012. "Auditing internal transfer prices in multinationals under monopolistic competition," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 19(6), pages 800-818, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:19:y:2012:i:6:p:800-818
    DOI: 10.1007/s10797-011-9208-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bauer, Christian J. & Langenmayr, Dominika, 2013. "Sorting into outsourcing: Are profits taxed at a gorilla's arm's length?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 326-336.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Transfer pricing; International taxation; Multinationals; Monopolistic competition; Social welfare; F23; H26;

    JEL classification:

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

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