Territoriality, worldwide principle, and competitiveness of multinationals: a firm-level analysis of tax burdens

Territoriality, worldwide principle, and competitiveness of multinationals: a firm-level analysis of tax burdens
Document type
Paper
Author(s)
Maffini, Giorgia
Publisher
Said Business School, Oxford University
Date of publication
25 March 2012
Series
Working Paper Series 2012-8
Subject(s)
Trends: economic, social and technology trends affecting business
Collection
Business and management
Material type
Reports

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Using consolidated rm-level accounting data for about 3,400 companies in 15 OECD countries from ORBIS (2003{2007), this paper compares the tax burden of companies headquartered in worldwide countries with that of companies headquartered in territorial countries. The tax burden is measured by a marginal effective tax rate (METR) and, employing a new methodology, by a marginal effective tax base (METB) which controls for statutory corporate tax rates. A higher METR for entities headquartered in worldwide jurisdictions is explained by higher corporate statutory tax rates rather than by the difference in the taxation of foreign profits. The METB of companies headquartered in worldwide countries is not statistically different from that of companies headquartered in territorial countries. Using corporate presence in tax havens, the paper also investigates the vulnerability of territorial jurisdictions to tax avoidance. The results show that offshore low-tax operations reduce the METR and the METB of multinationals more in territorial systems than in worldwide systems.

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