1887

OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

International differences in corporate taxation, foreign direct investment and tax revenue

This paper assesses the redistribution of foreign direct investments (FDI) and tax revenues among countries due to multinationals’ response to international differences in corporate tax systems. The paper briefly reviews the literature on the tax sensitivity of FDI and uses a consensus estimate of this sensitivity in combination with bilateral FDI data to compute hypothetical bilateral FDI positions in the absence of tax rate differences. In a second step, tax revenue effects are estimated by assuming a conventional rate of return on investment. For most OECD countries, the effects of tax rate differentials on FDI positions range between -15% and 15% of current FDI positions. The calculated effects of taxes on FDI reflect real investments as well as tax planning behaviours and the methodology cannot distinguish between these two channels. The methodology only captures part of the tax planning activities of multinationals, since some of these activities are not reflected in the size of the FDI positions.

English

Keywords: corporate tax, foreign direct investment, multinational tax planning
JEL: H25: Public Economics / Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue / Business Taxes and Subsidies including sales and value-added (VAT); F21: International Economics / International Factor Movements and International Business / International Investment; Long-term Capital Movements; F23: International Economics / International Factor Movements and International Business / Multinational Firms; International Business; H26: Public Economics / Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue / Tax Evasion and Avoidance
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