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The impact of taxes on bilateral royalty flows

Author

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  • Dudar, Olena
  • Spengel, Christoph
  • Voget, Johannes

Abstract

In 2013 the OECD introduced its Action Plan on base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS). One of the major concerns of this Plan is a strategic use of intangible assets as an instrument for profit shifting. The main purpose of this paper is to test whether multinational enterprises use intangibles as an important BEPS channel by empirically analysing the relationship between taxation and bilateral royalty flows. We employ the OECD data on 3,660 country-pairs for the time period of 1990-2012 and apply the Poisson pseudo-maximum likelihood estimator in a fixed-effects framework. The main results point to a negative impact of taxation on bilateral royalty flows. Moreover, we find that tax differentials, which represent a relative level of taxation in a recipient state compared to other potential royalty recipients, have a significant influence on royalty payments as well. For tax policy considerations, the paper provides various insights to the ongoing work on BEPS by the G20, the OECD, and the European Commission. For example, we find that such reform suggestions of the OECD Action Plan as an enforcement of the Nexus Approach, as well as an introduction of strict Controlled Foreign Company rules and transfer pricing regulations are likely to reduce international royalty flows.

Suggested Citation

  • Dudar, Olena & Spengel, Christoph & Voget, Johannes, 2015. "The impact of taxes on bilateral royalty flows," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-052, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:15052
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2020. "Tax Policy for Innovation," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation and Public Policy, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Roberto Crotti, 2021. "Does Intangible Asset Intensity Increase Profit-Shifting Opportunities of Multinationals?," IHEID Working Papers 02-2021, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    3. Dudar, Olena & Voget, Johannes, 2016. "Corporate taxation and location of intangible assets: Patents vs. trademarks," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-015, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    4. Gaessler, Fabian & Hall, Bronwyn H. & Harhoff, Dietmar, 2021. "Should there be lower taxes on patent income?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(1).
    5. Wolfram F. Richter, 2017. "Taxing Intellectual Property in the Global Economy: A Plea for Regulated and Internationally Coordinated Profit Splitting," CESifo Working Paper Series 6564, CESifo.
    6. Richter, Wolfram F. & Breuer, Markus, 2016. "Pricing the Transfer of Intellectual Property: A Plea for Regulated and Internationally Coordinated Profit Splitting," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145621, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Martina Baumann & Tobias Boehm & Bodo Knoll & Nadine Riedel, 2020. "Corporate Taxes, Patent Shifting, and Anti-avoidance Rules: Empirical Evidence," Public Finance Review, , vol. 48(4), pages 467-504, July.
    8. Pfeiffer, Olena & Spengel, Christoph, 2017. "Tax incentives for research and development and their use in tax planning," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-046, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    royalty; intangible assets; tax planning; corporate taxation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents

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