Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    The Economics of Advance Pricing Agreements
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2014-11) ; ;
    Advance pricing agreements (APAs) determine transfer prices for intra-firm transactions in advance. This paper interprets these contracts as a means to overcome a hold-up problem that occurs because governments cannot commit to non-excessive future tax rates. In addition, with private information, just as in practice, our APAs will be complex and require lengthy negotiations. Never- theless, implemented APAs lead to a Pareto improvement even when all agents are risk neutral. However, not all efficient APAs are concluded in equilibrium. International agreements to avoid double taxation will likely reduce the number of realized APAs.
  • Publication
    A Negotiation-Based Model of Tax-Induced Transfer Pricing
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2014-07) ;
    We present a new model of tax induced transfer pricing as an alternative to the oft-used concealment model. Inspired by interviews with practitioners, we consider a large multinational firm which is audited by the tax authority in the high-tax location. When this country adjusts the transfer prices proposed by the firm, the low-tax location may dispute this decision and initiate negotiations. Since negotiations are costly, the high-tax location sets a transfer price that prevents the low-tax location from entering negotiations. We compare this model's predictions to those of the concealment model. The negotiation model replicates the predictions on the tax rate effects on transfer pricing, while adding new predictions. Profit shifting is expected to fall in the high-tax country's bargaining power and to rise in firm profits and domestic firm ownership in both countries. Most importantly, profit shifting occurs even if tax enforcement is perfect. We analyze the effects of an introduction of a common consolidated corporate tax base with formula apportionment and conclude that the negotiation model may change the perspective on such a policy. Specifically, strong countries with large bargaining power may find this reform unappealing.
  • Publication
    Negotiated Transfer Prices
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2015-11) ;
    The predominant model of tax induced transfer pricing is based on the assumption that profit shifting is due to insufficient enforcement. However, evidence shows that the firms responsible for most profit shifting are also among the most frequently audited. We present an alternative model based on negotiations that avoid costly, yet uncertain, formal proceedings (e.g. court procedures). This model predicts that profit shifting increases in the tax gap even though enforcement is perfect. Further, it suggests that current efforts to streamline international tax law may have the unintended effect of increasing profit shifting.
  • Publication
    Learning to Tax ?- Interjurisdictional Tax Competition under Incomplete Information
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2015-09-22) ;
    We present a multi-period model in which countries set source-based taxes without having precise information how their and their neighbours' tax rates affect the tax base. Countries can learn from past experience and from observing their neighbours' outcomes and/or tax policy choices. We consider the sequence of Markov perfect equilibria and show that the beliefs become more precise over time and, eventually, correct. The precision of beliefs in a given period increases in the number of observed countries. In equilibrium, tax rates are inefficiently low if the value of learning is positive and the pace of learning increases in the level of tax rates (because higher tax rates trigger larger tax base effects which helps learning); in the presence of fiscal externalities, tax rates are too homogeneous (because variance in tax policies enhances learning). If, due to fiscal externalities, the value of learning is negative, the opposite may be true. From the viewpoint of empirical measurement, the model generates time patterns that look as if countries react to each other even if there are no fiscal externalities. We conclude that the existing evidence may therefore be inconclusive with regard to the existence of tax competition.