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Capital income taxation in Europe; trends and trade-offs

Author

Listed:
  • Joeri Gorter

    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

  • Ruud de Mooij

    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

Abstract

The EU capital market integrates. Portfolios become more international, cross border mergers are the order of the day, and never before has there been so much foreign direct investment. This links national tax systems. Residents pay foreign capital income tax, foreigners pay domestic capital income tax, and no member state can afford to overlook the danger of capital flight. What is the appropriate policy response? To do nothing? To coordinate tax systems at the European level? The data do not unequivocally support the tax-race-to-the-bottom hypothesis. On the one hand, member states decrease their statutory capital income tax rates. On the other, they broaden their capital income tax bases. Thus, fear for an economy-wide undertaxation of capital income -the main tenet of tax competition theory- is as yet ungrounded. Nevertheless, tax coordination may be beneficial. It resolves relative undertaxation of particular kinds of capital, forces convergence of capital income tax rates, and creates order in the costly European tax maze. Unfortunately, it simultaneously infringes upon the sovereignty of member states, and sidelines the disciplining force that tax competition exerts on government spending. This study assesses the most important proposals for capital income tax coordination against a background of the recent trends in capital income taxation and the trade offs between distinct policy objectives. It is a guide to the debate that is easy to read, yet firmly grounded in empirical evidence and economic theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Joeri Gorter & Ruud de Mooij, 2001. "Capital income taxation in Europe; trends and trade-offs," CPB Special Publication 30, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpb:spcial:30
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    File URL: http://www.cpb.nl/sites/default/files/publicaties/download/capital-income-taxation-europe-trends-and-trade-offs.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alfons Weichenrieder, 1996. "Fighting international tax avoidance," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 17(1), pages 37-58, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dwenger, Nadja & Rattenhuber, Pia & Steiner, Viktor, 2011. "Sharing the burden: Empirical evidence on corporate tax incidence," Discussion Papers 2011/19, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    2. Libman, Alexander, 2004. "Мировой Опыт Оптимизации Налогообложения: Роль Налоговой Конкуренции И Оффшорных Центров В Мировом Хозяйстве
      [International Experience of Tax Optimization - The Role of Tax Competition and Offshore
      ," MPRA Paper 17042, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Luigi, Bernardi, 2003. "Tax systems and tax reforms in Europe: Rationale and open issue for more radical reforms," MPRA Paper 18041, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Libman, Alexander, 2005. "Взаимодействие Государственных И Частных Структур В Интеграционных Группировах: Теоретические Подходы И Опыт Снг
      [Interaction of Public and Private Actors in Regional Integration Groups - Theoretic
      ," MPRA Paper 17044, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Joann Weiner, 2002. "Formula Apportionment in the European Union: A Dream Come True or the EU’s Worst Nightmare?," CESifo Working Paper Series 667, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. K. Mccarthy & F. van Doorn & B. Unger, 2008. "Globalisation, Tax Competition and the Harmonisation of Corporate Tax Rates in Europe: A Case of Killing the Patient to Cure the Disease?," Working Papers 08-13, Utrecht School of Economics.
    7. Zodrow, George R, 2003. "Tax Competition and Tax Coordination in the European Union," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 10(6), pages 651-671, November.
    8. Marja Appelman & Joeri Gorter & Mark Lijesen & Richard Venniker & S. Onderstal, 2003. "Equal rules or equal opportunities? Demystifying level playing field," CPB Document 34, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    9. Nadja Dwenger & Viktor Steiner, 2008. "Effective Profit Taxation and the Elasticity of the Corporate Income Tax Base: Evidence from German Corporate Tax Return Data," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 829, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    10. 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.
    11. de Mooij, Ruud A & Ederveen, Sjef, 2003. "Taxation and Foreign Direct Investment: A Synthesis of Empirical Research," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 10(6), pages 673-693, November.
    12. Budryte, Alge, 2005. "Corporate income taxation in Lithuania in the context of the EU," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 200-228, June.
    13. Leon Bettendorf & Joeri Gorter & Albert van der Horst, 2006. "Who benefits from tax competition in the European Union?," CPB Document 125, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    14. Machiel Mulder & Arie ten Cate & Ali Aouragh & Joeri Gorter, 2004. "Gas exploration and production at the Dutch continental shelf: an assessment of the 'Depreciation at Will'," CPB Document 66, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    15. Miroslav N. Jovanović (ed.), 2011. "International Handbook on the Economics of Integration, Volume II," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14136.
    16. Killian J. McCarthy & Frederik van Doorn & Brigitte Unger, 2011. "Tax Competition and the Harmonisation of Corporate Tax Rates in Europe," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Integration, Volume II, chapter 20 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    17. Ruud Mooij, 2005. "Will Corporate Income Taxation Survive?," De Economist, Springer, vol. 153(3), pages 277-301, September.
    18. Zodrow, George R., 2010. "Capital Mobility and Capital Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 63(4), pages 865-901, December.
    19. Cnossen,Sijbren, 2002. "Tax policy in the european union, A review of issues and options," Research Memorandum 023, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    20. Maria Rosaria Alfano, 2005. "Tax Competition in EU implies EMTR different: some effects on FDI and Economic Growth Rate," Public Economics 0510015, EconWPA.
    21. Streif, Frank, 2015. "Tax competition in Europe: Europe in competition with other world regions?," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-082, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    22. Sijbren Cnossen, 2002. "Tax Policy in the European Union: A Review of Issues and Options," CESifo Working Paper Series 758, CESifo Group Munich.
    23. Stefan Bach, 2013. "Has German Business Income Taxation Raised too Little Revenue over the Last Decades?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1303, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements

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