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Cross-Country Comparisons of Corporate Income Taxes

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  • Markle, Kevin S.
  • Shackelford, Douglas A.

Abstract

We use publicly available financial statement information for 11,602 public corporations from 82 countries from 1988–2009 in an attempt to isolate the impact of domicile on corporate taxes. We find that the country in which the parent of a multinational is located and to a lesser extent its subsidiaries are located substantially affects its worldwide effective tax rate (ETR). Japanese firms always face the highest ETRs. U.S. multinationals are among the highest taxed. Multinationals based in tax havens face the lowest taxes. We find that ETRs have been falling over the last two decades; however, the ordinal rank from high-tax countries to low-tax countries has changed little. We also find little difference between the ETRs of multinationals and domestic-only firms. Besides enhancing our knowledge about international taxes, these findings should provide some empirical underpinning for ongoing policy debates about the taxation of multinationals.

Suggested Citation

  • Markle, Kevin S. & Shackelford, Douglas A., 2012. "Cross-Country Comparisons of Corporate Income Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 65(3), pages 493-527, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:65:y:2012:i:3:p:493-527
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Zimmerman, Jerold L., 1983. "Taxes and firm size," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 119-149, April.
    2. Graham, John R. & Mills, Lillian F., 2008. "Using tax return data to simulate corporate marginal tax rates," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2-3), pages 366-388, December.
    3. Desai, Mihir A. & Foley, C. Fritz & Hines, James Jr., 2006. "The demand for tax haven operations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 513-531.
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    5. Gupta, Sanjay & Newberry, Kaye, 1997. "Determinants of the variability in corporate effective tax rates: Evidence from longitudinal data," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, pages 1-34.
    6. John H. Mutti & Harry Grubert, 2007. "The Effect of Taxes on Royalties and the Migration of Intangible Assets Abroad," NBER Working Papers 13248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Graham, John R. & Raedy, Jana S. & Shackelford, Douglas A., 2012. "Research in accounting for income taxes," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, pages 412-434.
    8. Roger Gordon & Laura Kalambokidis & Joel Slemrod, 2003. "A New Summary Measure of the Effective Tax Rate on Investment," NBER Working Papers 9535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Keller, Sara & Schanz, Deborah, 2013. "Measuring tax attractiveness across countries," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 143, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    2. repec:eee:jfinec:v:124:y:2017:i:3:p:441-463 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Aziz Jaafar & John Thorton, 2015. "Tax Havens and Effective Tax Rates: An Analysis of Private versus Public European Firms," Working Papers 15005, Bangor Business School, Prifysgol Bangor University (Cymru / Wales).
    4. Keller, Sara & Schanz, Deborah, 2013. "Tax attractiveness and the location of German-controlled subsidiaries," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 142, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    5. Overesch Michael, 2016. "Steuervermeidung multinationaler Unternehmen," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 17(2), pages 129-143, July.
    6. Bridgman, Benjamin, 2014. "Do intangible assets explain high U.S. foreign direct investment returns?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, pages 159-171.
    7. Benjamin Bridgman, 2009. "Do Intangible Assets Explain High U.S. Foreign Direct Investment Returns?," 2009 Meeting Papers 373, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Jaafar, Aziz & Thornton, John, 2015. "Tax Havens and Effective Tax Rates: An Analysis of Private versus Public European Firms," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 435-457.
    9. repec:col:000093:012622 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Dyreng, Scott D. & Lindsey, Bradley P. & Thornock, Jacob R., 2013. "Exploring the role Delaware plays as a domestic tax haven," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(3), pages 751-772.
    11. Dyreng, Scott D. & Lindsey, Bradley P. & Markle, Kevin S. & Shackelford, Douglas A., 2015. "The effect of tax and nontax country characteristics on the global equity supply chains of U.S. multinationals," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 182-202.
    12. Schanz, Deborah & Feller, Anna, 2014. "Wieso Deutschland (fast) keine BEPS-Bekämpfung braucht," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 171, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    13. Deborah Schanz & Andreas Dinkel & Sara Keller, 2017. "Tax attractiveness and the location of German-controlled subsidiaries," Review of Managerial Science, Springer, pages 251-297.

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