Beyond Borders: Supragovernmental Tax Enforcement and Investment
51 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2020 Last revised: 13 Jul 2021
Date Written: July 12, 2021
Amid growing globalization, many countries have offered tax incentives to attract corporate investment. Prior research studies the role such incentives play in firms’ location and investment choices. However, we have limited evidence on the role that uncertainty about the intensity of future tax enforcement plays in those decisions. In 2013, the European Commission (“E.C.”) abruptly began investigating tax ruling practices of several countries in response to allegations that certain firms received preferential tax treatment (“state aid cases”). We use this setting to study the economic consequences of increased uncertainty about future tax enforcement. We find evidence consistent with significant reductions in U.S. multinational firms’ subsidiary investments within, firm input purchases from, and aggregate investment of U.S. firms flowing to targeted state aid countries. Our results highlight significant real effects of increased uncertainty and complexity surrounding shifts in supragovernmental tax enforcement.
Keywords: tax enforcement, tax planning, tax authority, state aid
JEL Classification: M41, M48, H25, H26
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation