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Taxation and the Financial Structure of Foreign Direct Investment

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  • Frances Ruane
  • Padraig Moore

Abstract

The vast increase in foreign assets globally has raised interest in how the home country should tax profits flowing from these investments. Broadly speaking, countries have chosen either to exempt foreign income from taxation or to subject foreign income to taxation with credits/deductions given for foreign taxes paid. Recent research has focused on the effect of these foreign income tax rules on the relationship between aggregate FDI flows and corporate tax rates. In this paper we examine how foreign income tax rules can affect the financial structure of subsidiary-level FDI in Europe. The tax-deductibility of interest payments suggests that higher (host-country) corporate tax rates should be associated with a greater proportion of debt-financed FDI, as foreign income tax credit systems should, in theory, limit the benefits of shielding foreign income from host country taxation. Our results indicate that whilst multinationals from tax exemption countries adjust the financial structure of foreign investments in response to corporate tax rates, the effect of corporate tax rates is insignificant for FDI originating from tax credit countries. These results reveal an additional channel through which foreign income tax credit systems attenuate the forces of tax competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Frances Ruane & Padraig Moore, 2005. "Taxation and the Financial Structure of Foreign Direct Investment," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp88, IIIS.
  • Handle: RePEc:iis:dispap:iiisdp88
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Feld, Lars P. & Heckemeyer, Jost H. & Overesch, Michael, 2013. "Capital structure choice and company taxation: A meta-study," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 2850-2866.
    2. Huizinga, Harry & Laeven, Luc & Nicodeme, Gaetan, 2008. "Capital structure and international debt shifting," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 80-118, April.
    3. Luca, Oana & Tieman, Alexander F., 2019. "Financial sector debt bias," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 1-1.
    4. Egger, Peter & Eggert, Wolfgang & Keuschnigg, Christian & Winner, Hannes, 2010. "Corporate taxation, debt financing and foreign-plant ownership," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 96-107, January.
    5. Pietro Dallari & Nicolas End & Fedor Miryugin & Alexander F. Tieman & Seyed Reza Yousefi, 2020. "Pouring oil on fire: interest deductibility and corporate debt," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 27(6), pages 1520-1556, December.
    6. Gaëtan Nicodème, 2008. "Corporate Income Tax and Economic Distortions," Working Papers CEB 08-033.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    7. European Commission, 2011. "Tax Reforms in EU Member States 2011: tax policy challenges for economic growth and fiscal sustainability," Taxation Papers 28, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    8. Nils aus dem Moore, 2014. "Taxes and Corporate Financing Decisions – Evidence from the Belgian ACE Reform," Ruhr Economic Papers 0533, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    9. Serena Fatica & Thomas Hemmelgarn & Gaëtan Nicodème, 2013. "The Debt-Equity Tax Bias: Consequences and Solutions," Reflets et perspectives de la vie économique, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(1), pages 5-18.
    10. aus dem Moore, Nils, 2014. "Taxes and Corporate Financing Decisions – Evidence from the Belgian ACE Reform," Ruhr Economic Papers 533, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    11. Peter Egger & Simon Loretz & Michael Pfaffermayr & Hannes Winner, 2009. "Firm-specific forward-looking effective tax rates," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 16(6), pages 850-870, December.
    12. repec:zbw:rwirep:0533 is not listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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