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Why Capital Income Taxes Survive in Open Economies: The Role of Multinational Firms

  • Clemens Fuest

    ()

  • Bernd Huber

    ()

This paper discusses the role of multinational firms and double taxation treaties for corporate income taxation in open economies. We show that it is optimal for a small open economy to levy positive corporate income taxes if multinational firms are taxed according to the full taxation after deduction system or the foreign tax credit system. Positive corporate taxes also occur in the asymmetric case where some countries apply the exemption system and others apply the tax credit system. If all countries apply the exemption system, the optimal corporate income tax is zero. We also show that, under tax competition, corporate income taxes are not necessarily too low from the perspective of the economy as a whole. While the undertaxation result is confirmed for the case of the exemption system, tax rates may also be inefficiently high if the deduction or the credit systems are applied. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1020969604309
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Article provided by Springer & International Institute of Public Finance in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 9 (2002)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
Pages: 567-589

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:9:y:2002:i:5:p:567-589
DOI: 10.1023/A:1020969604309
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  1. Bond, Eric W & Samuelson, Larry, 1989. "Strategic Behaviour and the Rules for International Taxation of Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(398), pages 1099-1111, December.
  2. Gordon, Roger H, 1992. " Can Capital Income Taxes Survive in Open Economies?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(3), pages 1159-80, July.
  3. Mintz, Jack & Tulkens, Henry, 1996. "Optimality properties of alternative systems of taxation of foreign capital income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 373-399, June.
  4. Kimberley Scharf, 1997. "International capital tax evasion and the foreign tax credit puzzle," IFS Working Papers W97/11, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. Huber, Bernd, 1999. "Tax competition and tax coordination in an optimum income tax model," Munich Reprints in Economics 19402, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  6. Huizinga, H. & Nielsen, S.B., 1995. "Capital Income and Profits Taxation with Foreign Ownership of Firms," Papers 9582, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  7. Keen, Michael & Piekkola, Hannu, 1997. " Simple Rules for the Optimal Taxation of International Capital Income," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(3), pages 447-61, September.
  8. Janeba, Eckhard, 1995. "Corporate income tax competition, double taxation treaties, and foreign direct investment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 311-325, February.
  9. Huber, Bernd, 1999. "Tax competition and tax coordination in an optimum income tax model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 441-458, March.
  10. Haufler, Andreas, 1999. "Prospects for Co-ordination of Corporate Taxation and the Taxation of Interest Income in the EU," Munich Reprints in Economics 20388, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  11. Martin Feldstein & Charles Horioka, 1979. "Domestic Savings and International Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 0310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Gordon, Roger H. & Varian, Hal R., 1989. "Taxation of asset income in the presence of a world securities market," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 205-226, May.
  13. Michael Devereux & Harold Freeman, 1995. "The impact of tax on foreign direct investment: Empirical evidence and the implications for tax integration schemes," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 2(1), pages 85-106, February.
  14. Bucovetsky, Sam & Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Tax competition with two tax instruments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 333-350, November.
  15. Edwards, Jeremy & Keen, Michael, 1996. "Tax competition and Leviathan," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 113-134, January.
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