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Tax Treatment of Business Investments in Intellectual Assets: An International Comparison

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  • Jacek Warda

    (JW Innovation Associates Inc.)

Abstract

In a knowledge-based economy, business performance and overall levels of economic growth are increasingly dependent on the development and exploitation of intellectual assets. A number of OECD countries offer tax incentives to encourage and reward business expenditures on intellectual assets. This working paper examines the tax treatment of corporate expenditures on selected intellectual assets and develops an indicator of the relative generosity of tax systems in OECD countries to such investments. Five types of intellectual assets are considered: research and development (R&D), patents, workforce training, software and organisational change. The paper shows that although tax incentives have, to date, mainly favoured R&D expenditures, they are gradually embracing other types of intellectual assets, especially in those countries that provide more generous tax treatment of R&D. Nineteen OECD countries had specific R&D tax incentives in place in 2005, up from only 12 in 1996, and 6 offered tax incentives for corporate training. Dans une économie du savoir, la performance des entreprises et les taux de croissance économique globaux dépendent de plus en plus du développement et de l’exploitation d’actifs intellectuels. Un certain nombre de pays de l’OCDE appliquent des mesures d’incitation fiscale afin d’encourager et de valoriser les dépenses des entreprises portant sur des actifs intellectuels. Ce document de travail examine le régime fiscal des dépenses des entreprises portant sur certains actifs intellectuels et définit un indicateur de la générosité relative des systèmes fiscaux des pays de l’OCDE vis-à-vis de ces investissements. Cinq catégories d’actifs intellectuels sont envisagées : recherche et développement (R-D), brevets, formation de la main-d’oeuvre, logiciels et changement organisationnel. La note montre que, si les incitations fiscales ont surtout à ce jour favorisé les dépenses de R-D, elles s’appliquent aussi de plus en plus à d’autres catégories d’actifs intellectuels, surtout dans les pays qui accordent déjà un régime fiscal plus généreux à la R-D. Dix-huit pays de l’OCDE appliquaient des mesures d’incitation fiscale spécifique à la R-D en 2005, au lieu de 12 seulement en 1996, et 6 d’entre eux appliquaient des mesures d’incitation fiscale aux dépenses de formation des entreprises.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacek Warda, 2006. "Tax Treatment of Business Investments in Intellectual Assets: An International Comparison," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2006/4, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:stiaaa:2006/4-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/672304513676
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    Cited by:

    1. Tuomas Takalo, 2012. "Rationales and Instruments for Public Innovation Policies," Journal of Reviews on Global Economics, Lifescience Global, vol. 1, pages 157-167.
    2. Francesca D'Auria & Andrea Pagano & Marco Ratto & Janos Varga, 2009. "A comparison of structural reform scenarios across the EU member states - Simulation-based analysis using the QUEST model with endogenous growth," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 392, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    3. Annicchiarico, Barbara & Di Dio, Fabio & Felici, Francesco, 2013. "Structural reforms and the potential effects on the Italian economy," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 88-109.
    4. Werner Roeger & Janos Varga & Jan in 't Veld, 2010. "How to close the productivity gap between the US and Europe: A quantitative assessment using a semi-endogenous growth model," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 399, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    5. Janos Varga & Jan in 't Veld, 2009. "A model-based assessment of the macroeconomic impact of EU structural funds on the new Member States," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 371, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    6. Montmartin, Benjamin & Herrera, Marcos, 2015. "Internal and external effects of R&D subsidies and fiscal incentives: Empirical evidence using spatial dynamic panel models," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(5), pages 1065-1079.
    7. Conte, Andrea & Schweizer, Philip & Dierx, Adriaan & Ilzkovitz, Fabienne, 2009. "An analysis of the efficiency of public spending and national policies in the area of R&D," MPRA Paper 23549, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Takalo, Tuomas & Tanayama, Tanja & Toivanen, Otto, 2013. "Market failures and the additionality effects of public support to private R&D: Theory and empirical implications," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 634-642.
    9. Werner Roeger & Janos Varga & Jan in 't Veld, 2008. "Structural Reforms in the EU: A simulation-based analysis using the QUEST model with endogenous growth," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 351, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    10. Robert Atkinson, 2007. "Expanding the R&E tax credit to drive innovation, competitiveness and prosperity," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 32(6), pages 617-628, December.
    11. Alessandro Sterlacchini & Francesco Venturini, 2014. "R&D and Productivity in High-Tech Manufacturing: A Comparison between Italy and Spain," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(5), pages 359-379, July.
    12. Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation (EFI), Berlin (ed.), 2008. "Research, innovation and technological performance in Germany - EFI Report 2008," Research, Innovation and Technological Performance in Germany: Report, Expertenkommission Forschung und Innovation (EFI) - Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation, Berlin, volume 127, number 2008e, April.
    13. Emmanuel Duguet, 2008. "L’effet du credit d’impôt recherche sur le financement privé de la recherche : une évaluation économétrique," Documents de recherche 08-08, Centre d'Études des Politiques Économiques (EPEE), Université d'Evry Val d'Essonne.
    14. Expertenkommission Forschung und Innovation (EFI), Berlin (ed.), 2008. "Gutachten zu Forschung, Innovation und technologischer Leistungsfähigkeit Deutschlands 2008," Research, Innovation and Technological Performance in Germany: Report, Expertenkommission Forschung und Innovation (EFI) - Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation, Berlin, volume 127, number 2008, April.

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