Profit shifting and "aggressive" tax planning by multinational firms : issues and options for reform


Fuest, Clemens ; Spengel, Christoph ; Finke, Katharina ; Heckemeyer, Jost H. ; Nusser, Hannah


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URL: https://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/34854
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-348541
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2013
The title of a journal, publication series: ZEW Discussion Papers
Volume: 13-078
Place of publication: Mannheim
Edition: Version October 2013
Publication language: English
Institution: Business School > ABWL u. Betriebswirtschaftliche Steuerlehre II (Spengel)
Sonstige Einrichtungen > ZEW - Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des ZEW (Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) > ZEW Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: H20 , H25 , F23 , K34,
Keywords (English): Tax avoidance , profit shifting , multinational firms , intellectual property , tax policy , tax reform
Abstract: This paper discusses the issue of profit shifting and “aggressive” tax planning by multinational firms. The paper makes two contributions. First, it provides some background information to the debate by giving a brief overview of existing empirical studies on profit shifting and by describing arrangements for IP-based profit shifting which are used by the companies currently accused of avoiding taxes. We then show that preventing this type of tax avoidance is, in principle, straightforward. Second, we argue that, in the short term, policy makers should focus on extending withholding taxes in an internationally coordinated way. Other measures which are currently being discussed, in particular unilateral measures, like limitations on interest and license deduction, fundamental reforms of the international tax system and country-by-country reporting, are either economically harmful or need to be elaborated much further before their introduction can be considered.

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Fuest, Clemens ; Spengel, Christoph ; Finke, Katharina ; Heckemeyer, Jost H. ; Nusser, Hannah (2013) Profit shifting and "aggressive" tax planning by multinational firms : issues and options for reform. Open Access ZEW Discussion Papers Mannheim 13-078 [Working paper]
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