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Taxation of Outbound Direct Investment: Economic Principles and Tax Policy Considerations

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  • Michael P Devereux

    () (Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation)

Abstract

This paper reviews economic principles for optimality of the taxation of international profit, from both a global and national perspective. It argues that for traditional systems based on the residence of the investor or the source of the income, nothing less than full harmonisation across countries can achieve global optimality. The conditions for national optimality are more difficult to identify, but are most likely to imply source-based taxation. However, source-based taxation requires an allocation of the profits of multinational companies to individual jurisdictions; this is not only very difficult in practice, but in some cases is without any conceptual foundation. The taxation of interest income on a residence basis is also hard to justify if the aim of the tax system is to tax only the income arising from economic activity in a given country.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael P Devereux, 2008. "Taxation of Outbound Direct Investment: Economic Principles and Tax Policy Considerations," Working Papers 0824, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  • Handle: RePEc:btx:wpaper:0824
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kari Seppo, 2015. "Corporate tax in an international environment – Problems and possible remedies," Nordic Tax Journal, De Gruyter Open, vol. 2015(1), pages 1-16, September.
    2. Peter Egger & Valeria Merlo & Martin Ruf & Georg Wamser, 2015. "Consequences of the New UK Tax Exemption System: Evidence from Micro‐level Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(589), pages 1764-1789, December.
    3. Bradley, Sebastien & Dauchy, Estelle & Hasegawa, Makoto, 2013. "Investor Valuations of Japan's Adoption of a Territorial Tax Regime: Quantifying the Direct and Competitive Effects of International Tax Reform," School of Economics Working Paper Series 2013-2, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University, revised 15 Sep 2014.
    4. Giorgio Barba Navaretti & Anthony J. Venables, 2013. "Multinationals and industrial policy," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(2), pages 361-382, SUMMER.
    5. Johannes Becker & Clemens Fuest, 2011. "The taxation of foreign profits — The old view, the new view and a pragmatic view," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer;German National Library of Economics;Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), vol. 46(2), pages 92-97, March.
    6. Johannes Becker, 2013. "Taxation of Foreign Profits with Heterogeneous Multinational Firms," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(1), pages 76-92, January.
    7. Elschner, Christina & Heckemeyer, Jost Henrich & Spengel, Christoph, 2009. "Besteuerungsprinzipien und effektive Unternehmenssteuerbelastungen in der Europäischen Union," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-034, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    8. Christina Elschner & Jost H. Heckemeyer & Christoph Spengel, 2011. "Besteuerungsprinzipien und effektive Unternehmenssteuerbelastungen in der Europäischen Union: Regelt sich die EU‐weite Steuerharmonisierung von selbst?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(1), pages 47-71, February.
    9. Mishra, Anil V. & Ratti, Ronald A., 2014. "Taxation of domestic dividend income and foreign investment holdings," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 218-231.
    10. Manmohan S. Kumar & Dennis P. Quinn, 2012. "Globalization and Corporate Taxation," IMF Working Papers 12/252, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Johannes Becker, 2014. "Strategic Trade Policy through the Tax System," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(9), pages 1237-1246, September.
    12. Mishra, Anil V. & Ratti, Ronald A., 2013. "Home bias and cross border taxation," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 169-193.
    13. Kayis-Kumar, Ann, 2015. "Thin capitalisation rules: A second-best solution to the cross-border debt bias?," MPRA Paper 72031, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. David Weisbach, 2014. "The use of neutralities in international tax policy," Working Papers 1414, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.

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