Consumption taxes and corporate tax planning - evidence from European service firms


Olbert, Marcel ; Werner, Ann-Catherin


Document Type: Conference presentation
Year of publication: 2019
Conference title: 31st Annual American Taxation Association (ATA) Midyear Meeting
Location of the conference venue: Washington, DC
Date of the conference: 21.-23.02.2019
Publication language: English
Institution: Business School > ABWL u. Betriebswirtschaftliche Steuerlehre II (Spengel)
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: H22 , H24 , H25 , H32 , M48,
Keywords (English): Consumption Taxes , Tax Planning , Profit Shifting
Abstract: Consumption taxes are a primary source of tax revenue in many jurisdictions. While consumers nominally are the taxable entity, firms might actually bear the respective tax burden. We examine whether service firms in Europe strategically report sales in order to avoid consumption taxes. We then test if managing sales in response to consumption taxes affects income tax-motivated profit shifting. We exploit firm-level panel data and a unique setting in Europe in 2007-2015 with 65 staggered and plausibly exogenous consumption and corporate income tax rate changes. We find that service firms, on average, report 0.5 percent less in sales if consumption taxes increase by one percentage point. Consistent with theory and incentives, the effect is stronger for firms with greater discretion over where to pay value-added taxes and firms facing greater demand elasticity. We then show that the extent and the channels of profit shifting depend on firms’ responsiveness to consumption taxes. This result suggests that consumption taxes place a constraint on corporate income tax planning.




+ Citation Example and Export

Olbert, Marcel ORCID: 0000-0001-8689-9843 ; Werner, Ann-Catherin Consumption taxes and corporate tax planning - evidence from European service firms. (2019) 31st Annual American Taxation Association (ATA) Midyear Meeting (Washington, DC) [Conference presentation]


+ Search Authors in

BASE: Olbert, Marcel ; Werner, Ann-Catherin

Google Scholar: Olbert, Marcel ; Werner, Ann-Catherin

ORCID: Olbert, Marcel ORCID: 0000-0001-8689-9843 ; Werner, Ann-Catherin

+ Page Views

Hits per month over past year

Detailed information



You have found an error? Please let us know about your desired correction here: E-Mail


Actions (login required)

Show item Show item