nep-acc New Economics Papers
on Accounting and Auditing
Issue of 2022‒01‒24
six papers chosen by

  1. Mexico: Technical Assistance Report-Strengthening Public Assets and Liabilities Management By International Monetary Fund
  2. The Design of R&D Tax Incentive Schemes and Firm Innovation By Koski, Heli; Fornaro, Paolo
  3. New Forms of Tax Competition in the European Union: an Empirical Investigation By Eloi Flamant; Sarah Godar; Gaspard Richard
  4. The Effects of Corporate Taxes on Small Firms By Jarkko Harju; Aliisa Koivisto; Tuomas Matikka
  5. The Global Minimum Tax By Niels Johannesen
  6. The Politics of Taxing Multinational Firms in a Digital Age By Hearson, Martin; Gelepithis, Margarita

  1. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: The Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) of Mexico intends to strengthen public asset and liability management (ALM) practices. The 2018 Fiscal Transparency Evaluation (FTE) identified several gaps in reporting public sector assets and liabilities and analysis of the associated risks. The authorities have identified the need for further reforms in three interrelated areas: (i) adopt the public sector balance sheet (PSBS) analytical framework to inform policy making; (ii) move toward more active cash management; and (iii) strengthen the management of financial assets and introduce a sovereign assets and liabilities management (SALM) framework in a phased manner. This report provides recommendations for reforms in these three areas.
    Date: 2021–12–09
  2. By: Koski, Heli; Fornaro, Paolo
    Abstract: Abstract Research and development (R&D) tax credits are widely employed among the OECD countries to promote business sector investments in innovation. The implementation of R&D tax credit schemes, however, varies across countries. The empirical research on the effectiveness of R&D tax incentives suggests that the strength of company responses (in R&D expenditures) to more generous tax incentives substantially differ across countries. We use data from 25 OECD countries, collected from 2010 to 2018, to explore the relationship between a set of R&D tax scheme features and innovation performance. Our estimation results show that the business sector R&D expenditure is higher among those countries that have implemented either an R&D tax credit scheme with an incremental deduction basis or a hybrid scheme with both volume-based and incremental tax relief components. The input additionality is highest when the R&D tax incentives are based on the incremental deduction. Further, the hybrid tax credit scheme positively relates to innovation output. The business sector R&D investment are higher in the countries with an R&D tax credit scheme that provides favorable treatment for SMEs or option to carry forward unclaimed R&D tax credits.
    Keywords: R&D tax incentives, R&D investments, Innovation policy, Patents
    JEL: K34 L5 O3 O31
    Date: 2022–01–19
  3. By: Eloi Flamant (EU Tax - EU Tax Observatory); Sarah Godar (EU Tax - EU Tax Observatory); Gaspard Richard (EU Tax - EU Tax Observatory)
    Abstract: This report provides an empirical analysis of personal and corporate tax competition in the European Union. We find that tax competition increasingly takes the form of preferential or narrowly targeted tax regimes on top of general rate cuts. We provide a ranking of the most harmful regimes targeting foreign, primarily highincome or high-wealth individuals. We also discuss several options to address these trends. The evolution of tax competition in the European Union may be summarized as follows. While corporate tax rates are still on a downward trend, the decline of top statutory personal income tax rates has stopped since the financial crisis of 2008–2009. In the meantime, many new preferential regimes have been introduced into the personal income tax systems of member states. Many base-narrowing measures also contribute to lowering corporate tax burdens. By targeting the most mobile parts of the tax base - high-income earners and multinational enterprises - these tax incentives undermine effective revenue collection in the European Union and weaken the horizontal and vertical equity of tax systems. The most striking trend in EU tax competition is the increase in the number of personal income tax schemes targeting foreign individuals. The number of such regimes has increased from 5 in 1995 to 28 today. A tentative ranking suggests that the most harmful ones are the Italian and Greek high-net-worth individual regimes, Cyprus' high-income regime and the pension regimes of Cyprus, Greece and Portugal. These regimes exhibit long periods of duration, provide significant tax advantages, specifically target very high-income individuals or do not require any real economic activity in a given member state. At present, preferential regimes apply to over 200,000 beneficiaries. A lower-bound estimation suggests that the total fiscal costs for the European Union amount to EUR 4.5 billion per year. This sum is equivalent e.g. to the annual budget of the entire Erasmus programme. Member states also apply numerous base-narrowing measures which have the potential to significantly lower the effective tax rate of multinationals. Public financing of corporate research and development has increased in recent decades and has increasingly taken the form of tax incentives. A total of 14 intellectual property regimes in the EU are currently designed to tax income associated with patents, software and similar intangible assets at rates of 15% or less (10% or less in half of these cases). Six countries have adopted regimes of notional interest deduction; the Maltese and Cypriot regimes seem exceptionally generous. Approximately 1,348 unilateral tax rulings concerning multinationals' tax arrangements were in force in 2019. The implications of these rulings for revenue collection are still unknown to the public. The trends uncovered by this report may be addressed in several ways, e.g. by reforming the Code of Conduct and transforming it into a binding instrument – and extending its mandate to personal income taxation as well as to non-preferential corporate tax regimes that lead to generally low levels of taxation of multinationals. In the absence of a coordinated approach (which is always the ideal solution), member states might consider unilaterally taxing their expatriates, which, under some conditions, may mitigate the effects of preferential personal income tax regimes. A comprehensive implementation of the global corporate minimum tax agreed in October 2021, with minimal carveouts and limited deductions for research and development, could provide an effective floor for the EU's race to the bottom in corporate taxation.
    Date: 2021–12
  4. By: Jarkko Harju; Aliisa Koivisto; Tuomas Matikka
    Abstract: We study the impact of corporate taxes on firm-level investments and business activity by exploiting a 6 percentage-point reduction in the corporate tax rate during 2012–2014 in Finland. We use detailed administrative data and a difference-in-differences method comparing small corporations (tax rate cuts) to similar partnerships (no change in taxes). We find no significant average investment responses but do observe an average increase in annual sales and variable costs. These effects are driven by more cash-constrained firms and firms where the main owner actively works in the firm.
    JEL: G31 G38 H21 H25
    Date: 2022–01
  5. By: Niels Johannesen (University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: This paper studies how the global minimum tax shapes national tax policies and welfare in a formal model of international tax competition with heterogeneous countries. The net welfare effect is generally ambiguous from the perspective of non-havens. On the one hand, the global minimum tax raises their welfare by curbing profit shifting, which boosts government revenue. One the other hand, it lowers their welfare by increasing equilibrium tax rates in havens, which transfers real resources from non-haven firms to haven governments. The net welfare effect is unambiguously positive when the global minimum rate is so high that profit shifting ends.
    Keywords: profit shifting, international taxation, global minimum tax, tax avoidance, multinational firms
    JEL: H25 H26 H77
    Date: 2022–01–13
  6. By: Hearson, Martin; Gelepithis, Margarita
    Abstract: Taxing multinationals is politically difficult because of the structural power of mobile firms within the global economy, and this structural power is expected to increase in the digital age. Recently however there has been a breakdown in the international corporate tax consensus that structured tax competition over the past century. A new norm of international taxation has emerged whereby states claim the right to tax corporate income based on presence in consumer markets. Our paper explains this unexpected reassertion of state power. Building on previous accounts of large-scale change in policy norms, we show how the emergence of digital business models led to a new tax consensus by setting in train a process of policy contestation that allowed countries to levy taxes on multinationals unilaterally, without fear of capital flight.
    Keywords: Governance,
    Date: 2021

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