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The David R. Tillinghast Lecture: The Rising Tax-Electivity of U.S. Corporate Residence

55 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2010 Last revised: 6 Sep 2011

Daniel Shaviro

New York University School of Law

Date Written: October 1, 2010

Abstract

In an increasingly integrated global economy, with rising cross-border stock listings and share ownership, U.S. corporate residence for income tax purposes, which relies on one’s place of incorporation, may become increasingly elective for new equity. Existing equity in U.S. companies, however, is effectively trapped here, given the difficulty of expatriating for tax purposes absent a bona fide acquisition by new owners.

Both the prospect of rising tax electivity for new equity and the very different situation facing old U.S. equity have important implications for U.S. international tax policy. This paper therefore explores three main questions: (1) the extent to which U.S. corporate residence actually is becoming elective for new equity, (2) the implications of rising electivity for the age-old (though often mutually misguided) debate between proponents of residence-based worldwide corporate taxation on the one hand and a territorial or exemption system for foreign source income on the other, and (3) the transition issues for old equity if a territorial system is adopted.

Keywords: international taxation, worldwide taxation, territorial taxation, tax-electivity

JEL Classification: H20, H21, H23, H25, H73

Suggested Citation

Shaviro, Daniel, The David R. Tillinghast Lecture: The Rising Tax-Electivity of U.S. Corporate Residence (October 1, 2010). NYU Law and Economics Research Paper No. 10-45; NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 10-72. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1683642

Daniel Shaviro (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
Room 314-B
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States
212-998-6187 (Phone)
212-995-4341 (Fax)

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