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Corporate tax harmonization in the EU


  • Leon Bettendorf

    () (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

  • Michael P. Devereux

    () (Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation)

  • Albert van der Horst

    () (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

  • Simon Loretz

    () (Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation)

  • Ruud A. de Mooij

    () (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)


This paper explores the economic consequences of proposed EU reforms for a common consolidated corporate tax base. The reforms replace separate accounting with formula apportionment as a way to allocate corporate tax bases across countries. To assess the economic implications, we use a numerical CGE model for Europe. It encompasses several decision margins of firms such as marginal investment, FDI decisions, and multinational profit shifting. The simulations suggest that consolidation does not yield substantial welfare gains for Europe. The variation of effects across countries is large and depends on the choice of the apportionment formula. Consolidation with formula apportionment does not weaken incentives for tax competition. Tax competition instead offers a rationale for rate harmonisation, in addition to base harmonisation.

Suggested Citation

  • Leon Bettendorf & Michael P. Devereux & Albert van der Horst & Simon Loretz & Ruud A. de Mooij, 2009. "Corporate tax harmonization in the EU," Working Papers 0932, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  • Handle: RePEc:btx:wpaper:0932

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Creedy, John & Gemmell, Norman, 2009. "Corporation tax revenue growth in the UK: A microsimulation analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 614-625, May.
    2. Alan J. Auerbach, 1986. "The Dynamic Effects of Tax Law Asymmetries," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(2), pages 205-225.
    3. John Creedy & Norman Gemmell, 2003. "The Revenue Responsiveness of Income and Consumption Taxes in the UK," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 71(6), pages 641-658, December.
    4. Rosanne Altshuler & Alan J. Auerbach, 1990. "The Significance of Tax Law Asymmetries: An Empirical Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 61-86.
    5. Creedy, John & Gemmell, Norman, 2008. "Corporation tax buoyancy and revenue elasticity in the UK," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 24-37, January.
    6. Michael Devereux & Rachel Griffith & Alexander Klemm, 2004. "How has the UK corporation tax raised so much revenue?," IFS Working Papers W04/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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    Cited by:

    1. Evers, Maria Theresia & Finke, Katharina & Köstler, Melanie & Meier, Ina & Scheffler, Wolfram & Spengel, Christoph, 2014. "Gemeinsame Körperschaftsteuer-Bemessungsgrundlage in der EU: Konkretisierung der Gewinnermittlungsprinzipien und Weiterentwicklungen," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-112, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Michael P. Devereux & Simon Loretz, 2012. "How Would EU Corporate Tax Reform Affect US Investment in Europe?," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 26, pages 59-91 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Lenka Janíčková, 2012. "Tax Harmonization - the Possible Way out of the Crisis?," Český finanční a účetní časopis, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2012(1), pages 64-81.
    4. Alfons Weichenrieder, 1996. "Fighting international tax avoidance," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 17(1), pages 37-58, February.
    5. Ortmann, Regina & Sureth, Caren, 2014. "Can the CCCTB alleviate tax discrimination against loss-making European multinational groups?," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 165, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    6. Haufler, Andreas & Lülfesmann, Christoph, 2015. "Reforming an asymmetric union: On the virtues of dual tier capital taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 116-127.
    7. Owen Zidar & Juan Carlos Serrato & Eduardo Morales & Pablo Fajgelbaum, 2015. "State Taxes and Spatial Misallocation," 2015 Meeting Papers 877, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Martini, Jan-Thomas & Niemann, Rainer & Simons, Dirk, 2014. "Management incentives under formula apportionment: Tax-induced distortions of effort and compensation in a principal-agent setting," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 168, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    9. Alvarez Martinez, Maria Teresa & Barrios, Salvador & Bettendorf, Leon & d'Andria, Diego & Gesualdo, Maria & Loretz, Simon & Pontikakis, Dimitrios & Pycroft, Jonathan, 2016. "A New Calibration for CORTAX: A computable general equilibrium model for simulating corporate tax reforms," JRC Working Papers on Taxation & Structural Reforms 2016-09, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    10. Kimberly Clausing, 2007. "Corporate tax revenues in OECD countries," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(2), pages 115-133, April.
    11. Yang Chen & Juan Cuestas & Paulo Regis, 2014. "Corporate Tax Convergence in Asian and Pacific Economies," TUT Economic Research Series 17, Department of Finance and Economics, Tallinn University of Technology.
    12. Ruud A. de Mooij & Ikuo Saito, 2014. "Japan’s Corporate Income Tax; Facts, Issues and Reform Options," IMF Working Papers 14/138, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Keuschnigg, Christian & Loretz, Simon & Winner, Hannes, 2014. "Tax Competition and Tax Coordination in the European Union: A Survey," Economics Working Paper Series 1427, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    14. Margaret K. McKeehan & George R. Zodrow, 2017. "Balancing act: weighing the factors affecting the taxation of capital income in a small open economy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 24(1), pages 1-35, February.
    15. Jean-Michel Courtault & Riccardo Magnani, 2014. "How much can European governments squeeze out of their taxpayers?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(3), pages 1945-1960.
    16. George Zodrow, 2006. "Capital Mobility and Source-Based Taxation of Capital Income in Small Open Economies," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 13(2), pages 269-294, May.
    17. Zodrow, George R. & Diamond, John W., 2013. "Dynamic Overlapping Generations Computable General Equilibrium Models and the Analysis of Tax Policy: The Diamond–Zodrow Model," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, Elsevier.
    18. Jan Thomas Martini & Rainer Niemann & Dirk Simons, 2014. "Management Incentives under Formula Apportionment - Tax-Induced Distortions of Effort and Compensation in a Principal-Agent Setting -," CESifo Working Paper Series 4908, CESifo Group Munich.
    19. Bernardi, Luigi, 2009. "Le tasse in Europa dagli anni novanta
      [Taxation in Europe since the Years 1990s]
      ," MPRA Paper 23441, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Regina Ortmann & Caren Sureth-Sloane, 2016. "Can the CCCTB alleviate tax discrimination against loss-making European multinational groups?," Journal of Business Economics, Springer, vol. 86(5), pages 441-475, July.

    More about this item


    Corporate taxation; tax harmonization; European Union; CCCTB;

    JEL classification:

    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies


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