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Corporate tax policy and incorporation in the EU


  • Ruud de Mooij

    () (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

  • Gaetan Nicodeme

    (European Commission)


In Europe, declining corporate tax rates have come along with rising tax-to-GDP ratios. This paper explores to what extent income shifting from the personal to the corporate tax base can explain these diverging developments. We exploit a panel of European data on legal form of business to analyze income shifting via incorporation. The results suggest that the effect is significant and large. It implies that the revenue effects of lower corporate tax rates possibly induced by tax competition - will partly show up in lower personal tax revenues rather than lower corporate tax revenues. Simulations suggest that between 12% and 21% of corporate tax revenue can be attributed to income shifting. Income shifting is found to have raised the corporate tax-to-GDP ratio by some 0.25%-points since the early 1990s.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruud de Mooij & Gaetan Nicodeme, 2007. "Corporate tax policy and incorporation in the EU," Taxation Papers 11, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission, revised Nov 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:tax:taxpap:0011

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    13. Annette Alstadsæter, 2003. "The Dual Income Tax and Firms' Income Shifting through the Choice of Organizational Form and Real Capital Investments," CESifo Working Paper Series 1018, CESifo Group Munich.
    14. Nicodeme, Gaetan, 2006. "Corporate Tax Competition and Coordination in the European Union: What do we know? Where do we stand?," MPRA Paper 107, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    More about this item


    European Union; Corporate tax; Personal tax; Incorporation; Income shifting;

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship


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