One-Way Treaty with the World: The U.S. Withholding Tax and the Netherlands Antilles
Posted: 17 May 2001
This paper chronicles the experiences of the U.S. withholding tax on interest income. In 1984, the U.S. repealed its 30 percent withholding tax on interest income paid to foreign persons or corporations. While the tax raised little revenue, it had imposed substantial implicit costs on U.S. corporate borrowers. Since, prior to repeal, domestically issued bonds were subject either to withholding or strict information requirements, many U.S. multinationals raised funds through foreign finance subsidiaries, primarily in the Netherlands Antilles, to avoid the tax. Although the withholding tax rate was effectively reduced to zero in the U.S., this paper demonstrates that interest flows were highly sensitive to their after-tax cost.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation