OECD – INTERNATIONAL TAX PLANNING

OECD – INTERNATIONAL TAX PLANNING AND FIXED INVESTMENT ECONOMICS DEPARTMENTS WORKING PAPERS No. 1361: 1. Corporate income taxes affect business investment in several ways. By reducing the after-tax return on investment, high corporate taxes can lead firms to reject certain investment projects or reduce their scale, thus reducing the overall level of investment (OECD, 2009; Arnold et al., 2011). Corporate taxes also influence the allocation of investment across industries and countries (Fatica, 2013). All else equal, higher-tax rate countries attract less international investment than lower-tax rate countries, although corporate taxes are only one among many determinants of investment location (Skeie, 2016; Hajkova et al., 2006; Feld and Heckemeyer, 2011). 2. This paper explores whether the effect of corporate taxes on investment is influenced by international tax planning, which is also known as Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) (OECD, 2013). The idea is that tax planning allows multinational enterprises (MNEs) to reduce their tax burden, for example by shifting profits to lower-tax rate or no-corporate-tax countries (Johansson et al., 2016a). As a result, the return on investment of an MNE entity in a high-tax rate country is only partially taxed (or not taxed at all) in this country. Reflecting this, tax-planning MNEs are expected to be less sensitive to corporate taxes in their investment decisions than non-tax-planning firms. Indeed, existing single-country studies focusing on US and German MNEs suggest that tax planning can affect the tax sensitivity of investment (Grubert, 2003; Overesch, 2009). The purpose of this paper is to assess this effect systematically across a wide range of countries. 3. This paper confirms that corporate taxes have a negative impact on investment and shows that this negative impact is smaller among tax-planning MNEs than other firms. The analysis is based on a large sample of industry and firm-level data for OECD and G20 countries. A 5 percentage point increase in the effective marginal corporate tax rate is found to be associated with a reduction in investment by about 5% in the long term on average across industries. This effect is lower in industries with a high concentration of MNE entities with profit-shifting incentives, i.e. entities facing a higher statutory corporate tax rate than the average in their MNE group. This definition of profit-shifting incentives is in line with the accompanying paper on the assessment of tax planning (Johansson et al., 2016a). For an industry with a strong presence of MNE entities with profit-shifting incentives (75th percentile of the distribution), the tax sensitivity of investment is nearly halved as compared to the median industry. Results obtained at the firm-level are consistent with these industry-level results. 4. The estimation results also suggest that strong anti-avoidance rules against tax planning (e.g. strict transfer pricing documentation requirements and interest deductibility rules, see Johansson et al., 2016b) increase the tax sensitivity of investment in industries with a strong concentration of profit-shifting MNEs. This confirms that tax planning affects the tax sensitivity of investment. Thus, tax planning opportunities may allow higher-tax rate countries to retain attractiveness as investment destinations for taxplanning MNEs, but this would come at the cost of tax distortions and losses in tax revenues. (By Stéphane Sorbe and Åsa Johansson).

Demora do STF eleva prejuízo da União com decisão do PIS/Cofins

Passado um ano desde que o governo perdeu a disputa no Supremo Tribunal Federal (STF) sobre a inclusão do ICMS na base de cálculo do PIS/Cofins, o Brasil ainda vive um vácuo legal em torno do assunto. A situação reflete dois problemas. O primeiro é que o governo prometeu e não entregou uma nova lei para o PIS/Cofins retirando o ICMS da conta e nem fez a reforma desses tributos, que permanece em estudo. O segundo é que a mais alta Corte até agora não julgou o recurso da Fazenda para tentar amenizar o rombo nos cofres públicos. O órgão pede que a decisão tenha um prazo para entrar em vigor, que seria janeiro deste ano.

A modulação de efeitos da decisão sobre inclusão de ICMS no cálculo de PIS/Cofins

A modulação temporal dos efeitos nas decisões do Supremo Tribunal Federal é uma questão que há muito tempo é debatida na doutrina e nos tribunais brasileiros. Essa discussão ganhou considerável destaque após a decisão do RE 574.706/PR, com repercussão geral reconhecida, em que o Supremo declarou a inconstitucionalidade da inclusão do ICMS na base de cálculo da contribuição do PIS e da Cofins.