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Corporation taxes in the European Union: Slowly moving toward comprehensive business income taxation?

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  • Sijbren Cnossen

    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis
    University of Pretoria
    Professor Emeritus of Erasmus University Rotterdam
    University of Maastricht)

Abstract

This paper surveys and evaluates the corporation tax systems of the Member States of the European Union on the basis of a comprehensive taxonomy of actual and potential regimes, which have as their base either profits; profits, interest and royalties; or economic rents. The current regimes give rise to various instate and interstate spillovers, which violate the basic tenets—neutrality and subsidiarity—of the single market. The trade-offs between the implications of these tenets—harmonization and diversity, respectively—can be reconciled by a bottom-up strategy of strengthening source-based taxation and narrowing differences in tax rates. The strategy starts with dual income taxation, proceeds with final source withholding taxes and rate coordination, and is made complete by comprehensive business income taxation. Common base and cash flow taxation are not favored.

Suggested Citation

  • Sijbren Cnossen, 2018. "Corporation taxes in the European Union: Slowly moving toward comprehensive business income taxation?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 25(3), pages 808-840, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:25:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10797-017-9471-2
    DOI: 10.1007/s10797-017-9471-2
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    2. Julio López Laborda & Jorge Onrubia, 2019. "Los retos de la fiscalidad societaria en la era de la economía digital: el estado de la cuestión," Policy Papers 2019-04, FEDEA.
    3. Richard Collier & Seppo Kari & Olli Ropponen & Martin Simmler & Maximilian Todtenhaup, 2018. "Dissecting the EU’s Recent Anti-Tax Avoidance Measures: Merits and Problems," EconPol Policy Reports 8, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corporation tax; European Union; Tax coordination; Dual income tax; Comprehensive business income tax; Allowance for corporate equity; Rate of return allowance; Destination-based cash flow tax;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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