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Corporate Tax Policy and International Mergers and Acquisitions – Is the Tax Exemption System Superior?

  • Johannes Becker
  • Clemens Fuest

In this paper we ask whether recent claims that the US government should switch from the tax credit system to the exemption system are justified. We study corporate taxation in a model where international capital flows are either greenfield investment projects or acquisitions of existing firms, and where investment is motivated by either cost reduction or market entry reasons. The paper asks how corporate taxation affects the international allocation of capital under different double taxation regimes. We find that the standard view on international taxation only prevails in the case of cost driven greenfield investment. In all other cases the deduction system is no longer optimal from a national perspective and the foreign tax credit system fails to ensure neutrality. However, the desirability of the tax exemption system has to be qualified. We show that the cross border cash flow tax system dominates the exemption system in terms of optimality properties.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1884.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1884
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  1. Fuest, Clemens & Huber, Bernd & Mintz, Jack, 2005. "Capital Mobility and Tax Competition," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 1(1), pages 1-62, December.
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  3. di Giovanni, Julian, 2002. "What Drives Capital Flows? The Case of Cross-Border M&A Activity and Financial Deepening," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt7nq6d7wp, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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  7. Huizinga, Harry & Voget, Johannes, 2006. "International Taxation and the Direction and Volume of Cross-Border M&As," CEPR Discussion Papers 5974, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Gordon, Roger H & Bovenberg, A Lans, 1996. "Why Is Capital So Immobile Internationally? Possible Explanations and Implications for Capital Income Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1057-75, December.
  9. Bond, Eric W & Samuelson, Larry, 1989. "Strategic Behaviour and the Rules for International Taxation of Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(398), pages 1099-1111, December.
  10. Rossi, Stefano & Volpin, Paolo F., 2004. "Cross-country determinants of mergers and acquisitions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 277-304, November.
  11. Andreas Haufler & Søren Bo Nielsen, 2005. "Merger Policy to Promote ‘Global Players’? A Simple Model," CESifo Working Paper Series 1523, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Janeba, Eckhard, 1995. "Corporate income tax competition, double taxation treaties, and foreign direct investment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 311-325, February.
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  14. Michael P. Devereux & R. Glenn Hubbard, 2000. "Taxing Multinationals," NBER Working Papers 7920, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Fuest, Clemens & Huber, Bernd, 2004. "Why do countries combine the exemption system for the taxation of foreign profits with domestic double taxation relief?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 219-231, January.
  16. Johannes Becker & Clemens Fuest, 2007. "Quality versus Quantity – The Composition Effect of Corporate Taxation on Foreign Direct Investment," CESifo Working Paper Series 2126, CESifo Group Munich.
  17. Michael P Devereux, 2007. "The Impact of Taxation on the Location of Capital, Firms and Profit: a Survey of Empirical Evidence," Working Papers 0702, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  18. Collins, Julie H. & Kemsley, Deen & Shackelford, Douglas A., 1995. "Tax Reform and Foreign Acquisitions: A Microanalysis," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(1), pages 1-21, March.
  19. Michael Keen & Hannu Piekkola, 1996. "Simple rules for the optimal taxation of international capital income," IFS Working Papers W96/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  20. Myron S. Scholes & Mark A. Wolfson, 1989. "The Effects of Changes in Tax Laws on Corporate Reorganization Activity," NBER Working Papers 3095, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Antoinette Schoar, 2002. "Effects of Corporate Diversification on Productivity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(6), pages 2379-2403, December.
  22. Martin Feldstein & David Hartman, 1979. "The Optimal Taxation of Foreign Source Investment Income," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(4), pages 613-629.
  23. Bucovetsky, Sam & Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Tax competition with two tax instruments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 333-350, November.
  24. Clemens Fuest & Bernd Huber & Jack Mintz, 2003. "Capital Mobility and Tax Competition: A Survey," CESifo Working Paper Series 956, CESifo Group Munich.
  25. Bruno Cassiman & Massimo G. Colombo (ed.), 2006. "Mergers and Acquisitions," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 4072.
  26. Desai, Mihir A. & Hines, James R. Jr., 2003. "Evaluating International Tax Reform," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(3), pages 487-502, September.
  27. Desai, Mihir A. & Hines, James R. Jr., 2004. "Old Rules and New Realities: Corporate Tax Policy in a Global Setting," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 57(4), pages 937-60, December.
  28. Gregor Andrade & Mark Mitchell & Erik Stafford, 2001. "New Evidence and Perspectives on Mergers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 103-120, Spring.
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