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Bringing it Home: A Study of the Incentives Surrounding the Repatriation of Foreign Earnings Under the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004

56 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2006 Last revised: 15 Nov 2011

Jennifer L. Blouin

University of Pennsylvania - Accounting Department

Linda K. Krull

University of Oregon

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 21, 2008

Abstract

The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (the Act) creates a temporary tax holiday that effectively reduces the U.S. tax rate on repatriations from foreign subsidiaries from 35 percent to 5.25 percent. Firms receive the reduced tax rate by electing to take an 85 percent dividends received deduction on repatriations in 2004 or 2005. This paper investigates the characteristics of firms that repatriate under the Act and how they use the repatriated funds. We find that firms that repatriate under the Act have lower investment opportunities and higher free cash flows than non-repatriating firms. Further, we find that repatriating firms increase share repurchases during 2005 by $55.80 to $60.85 billion more than non-repatriating firms. This increase represents 19.14 to 20.87 percent of the $291.6 billion repatriated under the Act. This paper provides useful information to policy makers about the effect of a temporary tax holiday on firms' investment behavior.

Keywords: Multinational Firms, Foreign direct investment, Corporate Taxation, Payout policy, Repurchases

JEL Classification: F23, G35, H20, H25

Suggested Citation

Blouin, Jennifer L. and Krull, Linda K., Bringing it Home: A Study of the Incentives Surrounding the Repatriation of Foreign Earnings Under the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (July 21, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=925348 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.925348

Jennifer Blouin

University of Pennsylvania - Accounting Department ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States
215-898-1266 (Phone)

Linda Krull (Contact Author)

University of Oregon ( email )

1208 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1208
United States
541-346-3252 (Phone)

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