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Are Spanish companies involved in profit shifting? Consequences in terms of tax revenues

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  • Castillo Murciego, Ángela
  • López-Laborda, Julio

Abstract

In this paper the authors analyze the existence of profit shifting between Spain and other OECD and EU countries. Using a sample of 1,169 Spanish subsidiaries owned by foreign OECD and EU parent companies and a sample of 317 EU subsidiaries owned by Spanish parent companies, taken from the AMADEUS Database for the period 2005 to 2014, and a simple tax rate difference as a measure of the tax incentive, the authors obtain a negative effect of corporate income taxes on reported profits. When the tax rate differences between Spain and the foreign countries vary by one percentage point, reported profits vary by approximately 2.7 to 3%. This is consistent with profit shifting activity by corporations and matches the empirical results in the literature. Furthermore, the authors calculate the impact of this activity on Spain's tax revenues from the sample of Spanish subsidiary companies. They obtain that the tax revenues vary from year to year, depending on the level of taxation of the main investor countries in Spain in comparison to the Spanish tax rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Castillo Murciego, Ángela & López-Laborda, Julio, 2017. "Are Spanish companies involved in profit shifting? Consequences in terms of tax revenues," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 11, pages 1-47.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifweej:20171
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5018/economics-ejournal.ja.2017-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Theresa Lohse & Nadine Riedel, 2013. "Do Transfer Pricing Laws Limit International Income Shifting? Evidence from European Multinationals," CESifo Working Paper Series 4404, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Clausing, Kimberly A., 2003. "Tax-motivated transfer pricing and US intrafirm trade prices," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2207-2223, September.
    3. Jennifer Blouin & Harry Huizinga & Luc Laeven & Gaëtan Nicodème, 2013. "Thin capitalization rules and multinational firm capital structure," Working Papers 1323, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
    4. Serena Fatica & Thomas Hemmelgarn & Gaëtan Nicodème, 2013. "The Debt-Equity Tax Bias: Consequences and Solutions," Reflets et perspectives de la vie économique, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(1), pages 5-18.
    5. Alfons Weichenrieder, 2009. "Profit shifting in the EU: evidence from Germany," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 16(3), pages 281-297, June.
    6. James R. Hines & Eric M. Rice, 1994. "Fiscal Paradise: Foreign Tax Havens and American Business," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 149-182.
    7. Peter Schwarz, 2009. "Tax-avoidance strategies of American multinationals: an empirical analysis," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(8), pages 539-549.
    8. Matthias Dischinger & Bodo Knoll & Nadine Riedel, 2014. "The role of headquarters in multinational profit shifting strategies," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(2), pages 248-271, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    profit shifting; multinational corporations; tax revenues; Spain;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F69 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Other
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm

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