Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance in Developing Countries: The Role of International Profit Shifting
In the debate on the impact of illicit capital flows on developing countries, the view is widespread that profit shifting to low tax jurisdictions undermines the ability of developing countries to raise tax revenue. While the shifting of income out of developed countries is a widely debated issue, empirical evidence on the magnitude of the problem and on the factors driving income shifting is scarce. This paper reviews the literature on tax avoidance and evasion through border crossing income shifting out of developing countries. Moreover, we discuss methods and available datasets which can be used to gain new insights into the problem of corporate income shifting. We argue that results of many existing studies on tax avoidance and evasion in developing countries are difficult to interpret, mainly because the measurement concepts used have a number of drawbacks. We discuss some alternative methods and datasets and present some empirical evidence which supports the view that profit shifting out of many developing countries and into tax havens takes place.
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