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The impact of thin-capitalization rules on multinationals' financing and investment decisions

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  • Büttner, Thiess
  • Overesch, Michael
  • Schreiber, Ulrich
  • Wamser, Georg

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effectiveness of thin-capitalization rules in preventing debt finance by intercompany loans and explores their consequences for corporate decisions. A theoretical discussion emphasizes that limitations of the deduction of interest owed to foreign affiliates would not only affect multinationals' capital structure choice but also investment. An empirical investigation exploits a large firm-level panel dataset of multinationals in order to analyze the impact of thin-capitalization rules on capital structure choice and investment in the OECD and some further European countries in the time period between 1996 and 2004. The results indicate that thin-capitalization rules are effective in curbing tax planning via intercompany loans. However, investment is found to be adversely affected.

Suggested Citation

  • Büttner, Thiess & Overesch, Michael & Schreiber, Ulrich & Wamser, Georg, 2008. "The impact of thin-capitalization rules on multinationals' financing and investment decisions," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2008,03, Deutsche Bundesbank.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:7114
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corporate Income Tax; Multinationals; Leverage; Thin-Capitalization Rules; Firm-Level Data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies

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