Tax Competition and Profit Shifting: On the Relationship between Personal and Corporate Tax Rates

34 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2002

See all articles by Clemens Fuest

Clemens Fuest

ifo Institute – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich; Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich; Center for Economic Studies (CES)

Alfons J. Weichenrieder

Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Applied Econometrics and International Economic Policy; Vienna University of Economics and Business; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: October 2002

Abstract

The residence-based taxation of interest income in the EU faces the difficulty that taxpayers may evade taxation by holding bank accounts in other countries. The EU therefore makes considerable efforts to achieve cooperation among EU member states in order to improve tax enforcement. The present paper argues that international cooperation in tax enforcement may not be sufficient to implement an effective taxation of interest income. The reason is that taxpayers may also avoid income taxes by holding financial assets in the corporate sector. If corporate tax competition reduces corporate income tax rates below personal income tax rates, taxpayers will increasingly shift income from the personal to the corporate sphere. We show that this type of income shifting is empirically important. According to our results, a one percentage point increase in the personal income tax rate increases the fraction of private savings held within corporations by approximately 2.6 percentage points.

JEL Classification: H20, H70, D9

Suggested Citation

Fuest, Clemens and Weichenrieder, Alfons J., Tax Competition and Profit Shifting: On the Relationship between Personal and Corporate Tax Rates (October 2002). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 781. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=346340

Clemens Fuest

ifo Institute – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE 81679
Germany
++89-9224-1430 (Phone)

Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich ( email )

Schackstrasse 4 / II
Munich, DE 80539
Germany

Center for Economic Studies (CES) ( email )

Schackstr. 4
Munich, DE 80539
Germany
++89 2180-2748 (Phone)
++89 2180-17845 (Fax)

Alfons J. Weichenrieder (Contact Author)

Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Applied Econometrics and International Economic Policy ( email )

United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.uni-frankfurt.de/fb02/weichenrieder/

Vienna University of Economics and Business ( email )

Welthandelsplatz 1
Vienna, Wien 1020
Austria

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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