Tax Avoidance through Cross-Border Mergers and Acquisitions
68 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2020 Last revised: 31 Dec 2020
Date Written: June 30, 2020
We document a novel tax avoidance strategy: Cross-border, tax-haven mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Tax havens have $2.4 trillion in M&A deal value beyond what is predicted based on economic fundamentals. Cross-border, tax-haven M&As result in $24.7 billion in recurring annual tax avoidance, and cross-border, non-haven M&As result in an additional $31.3 billion in recurring annual tax avoidance. This is the first paper to document that tax havens affect real investment on a large scale, and not just capital flows on paper. Moreover, we create an algorithm, which is available to others, to derive the tax residence of any company given data on the firm's country of incorporation and headquarters.
Keywords: tax avoidance, tax havens, mergers and acquisitions, gravity model, capital flows, foreign direct investment, taxation, multinational corporations
JEL Classification: F21, G34, H25, H26, H73, K34
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