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Hugger, Felix
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
ifo Working Paper No. 304
Within the framework of its BEPS initiative, the OECD introduced a requirement for non-public country-by-country reporting (CbCR) applying to multinational companies with revenues above EUR 750m. The reports provide data on the global activities and financial structure of multinationals at a country level to tax authorities. This paper investigates the effectiveness of this measure against corporate tax avoidance using a difference-in-difference approach. The analysis is based on financial data both at the group and the subsidiary level. By testing several hypotheses, this paper provides limited support for the effectiveness of CbCR. While the effective tax rates of multinational groups with a reporting requirement increase by about 0.8 percentage points as compared to companies in the control group, the growth rate of total tax payments is unaffected. This seems to be due to a reduction of the tax base which is also due to a rise in leverage and resulting tax-deductible interest payments. At the same time, shifting of profits out of high tax jurisdictions is reduced by CbCR, but not at the expense of low tax OECD countries. CbCR therefore seems to primarily reduce profits located in tax haven affiliates of multinational groups. Lastly, there is little evidence for a distribution of profits closer aligned with frequently suggested apportionment factors.
Corporate tax avoidance
multinational firms
country-by-country reporting
profit shifting
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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