Volume 39 (2011) / Issue 10

Christoph Spengel, Benedikt Zinn, 'Non-profit Taxation on Corporations in the EU: Lessons from Corporate Tax Reforms in Germany and Tax Implications of the Global Economic Crisis' (2011) 39 Intertax, Issue 10, pp. 494–520

Abstract

Without any doubt, one of the primary policy issues in public finance in the European Union (EU) is the issue of tax competition, which results in a race to the bottom in statutory tax rates, tax base broadening policies, and potential distortions in firm decisions. The literature focuses mainly on profit taxes; however, as the financial crisis is biting into the real economy, non-profit taxes have become a more important factor in the overall tax burden on companies. In this context, one important question is whether non-profit taxation and tax base broadening policies have accelerated the course of economic downturn. This article analyses the impact of non-profit taxes on the overall tax burdens of companies. It offers not only a broad geographical scope but also great detail in calculations of tax burdens on income-independent taxes. In particular, it reveals that tax regimes characterized by restrictive thin capitalization rules, tightened loss offset rules, or a high proportion of non-profit taxes in the overall tax mix are more severely hit by economic downturns. The various tax measures taken by many EU-27 Member States in response to the crisis are, therefore, looked upon favourably.

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ISSN: 0165-2826
ID: TAXI2011052