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Full-Text Articles in Law

Inter Vivos Transfers Of Ownership In Family Firms, James R. Hines Jr., Niklas Potrafke, Marina Riem, Christoph Schinke Apr 2019

Inter Vivos Transfers Of Ownership In Family Firms, James R. Hines Jr., Niklas Potrafke, Marina Riem, Christoph Schinke

Articles

This paper examines the determinants of inter vivos (lifetime) transfers of ownership in German family firms between 2000 and 2013. Survey evidence indicates that owners of firms with strong current business conditions transfer ownership at higher rates than others. When a firm’s self-described business condition improves from “normal” to “good,” the relative likelihood of an inter vivos transfer increases by 46 percent. Inter vivos transfer rates also rose following a 2009 reform that reduced transfer taxes. These patterns suggest that transfer taxes significantly influence rates and timing of inter vivos ownership transfers.


The Games They Will Play: Tax Games, Roadblocks, And Glitches Under The 2017 Tax Legislation, David Kamin, David Gamage, Ari Glogower, Rebecca Kysar, Darien Shanske, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Lily Batchelder, J. Clifton Fleming, Daniel Hemel, Mitchell Kane, David Miller, Daniel Shaviro, Manoj Viswanathan Feb 2019

The Games They Will Play: Tax Games, Roadblocks, And Glitches Under The 2017 Tax Legislation, David Kamin, David Gamage, Ari Glogower, Rebecca Kysar, Darien Shanske, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Lily Batchelder, J. Clifton Fleming, Daniel Hemel, Mitchell Kane, David Miller, Daniel Shaviro, Manoj Viswanathan

Articles

The 2017 tax legislation brought sweeping changes to the rules for taxing individuals and business, the deductibility of state and local taxes, and the international tax regime. The complex legislation was drafted and passed through a rushed and secretive process intended to limit public comment on one of the most consequential pieces of domestic policy enacted in recent history. This Article is an effort to supply the analysis and deliberation that should have accompanied the bill’s consideration and passage, and describes key problem areas in the new legislation. Many of the new changes fundamentally undermine the integrity of the ...


Taxing The Digital Economy Post-Beps…Seriously, Andres Báez Moreno, Yariv Brauner Jan 2019

Taxing The Digital Economy Post-Beps…Seriously, Andres Báez Moreno, Yariv Brauner

UF Law Faculty Publications

For years the advent of the digital economy has left countries stumped in their attempt to tax income earned by foreign firms without physical presence within their jurisdiction. International organizations and their member countries have failed in their attempts to tweak the rules of the international tax regime and address these challenges presented by the digital economy. This article argues that such conservative approach could not work, and fundamental reform is inevitable. The article proposes a withholding tax solution, explaining its merits and demonstrating its superiority over alternative reforms proposed to date.


Beps, Atap, And The New Tax Dialogue: "A Transatlantic Competition?", Reuven Avi-Yonah, Gianluca Mazzoni Sep 2018

Beps, Atap, And The New Tax Dialogue: "A Transatlantic Competition?", Reuven Avi-Yonah, Gianluca Mazzoni

Articles

Since its launch in 2013, the US actively participated in all aspects of the BEPS project. However, until recently, the general view was that following the conclusion of the BEPS negotiations and the change of Administration the US is stepping back from the BEPS process. While the EU was charging ahead with implementing BEPS through the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (ATAD), the US stated that it was already in compliance with all BEPS minimum standards and therefore other than Country-by-Country Reporting (CbCR) it had no further BEPS obligations. The US decided not to sign the Multilateral Instrument (MLI) to implement BEPS ...


Evaluating Beps, Reuven Avi-Yonah, Haiyan Xu Aug 2017

Evaluating Beps, Reuven Avi-Yonah, Haiyan Xu

Articles

This article evaluates the recently completed Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project of the G20 and OECD and offers some alternatives for reform.


Problems With Destination-Based Corporate Taxes And The Ryan Blueprint, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Kimberly Clausing Apr 2017

Problems With Destination-Based Corporate Taxes And The Ryan Blueprint, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Kimberly Clausing

Articles

With the election of Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s domination of Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan’s blueprint for fundamental tax reform requires more careful analysis. The Ryan blueprint combines reduced individual rates with a destination-based cash flow type business tax applicable to all businesses. The destination-based business tax at the center of the blueprint has several major problems: It is incompatible with our WTO obligations, it is incompatible with our tax treaties, and it will not eliminate the problems of income shifting and inversions it is designed to address. In addition, these proposals generate vexing technical problems ...


Gaars And The Nexus Between Statutory Interpretation And Legislative Drafting: Lessons For The U.S. From Canada, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Amir Pichhadze Mar 2017

Gaars And The Nexus Between Statutory Interpretation And Legislative Drafting: Lessons For The U.S. From Canada, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Amir Pichhadze

Articles

Rules targeting specific known schemes are not the only tools available in the battle against tax avoidance. Legal systems also use measures that apply generally. The U.S. for example has tended to rely heavily on general doctrines. One such doctrine which is discussed in part 2 of this chapter is the “economic substance” doctrine. Yet as Xiong and Evans recently pointed out “although such judicial doctrines can be used to deal with various aspects of complicated tax abuse judges tended sometimes to limit and sometimes to enlarge the scope of jurisprudential interpretation leading to substantial uncertainty and risk.” One ...


International Tax Avoidance -- Introduction, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Mar 2017

International Tax Avoidance -- Introduction, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

Tax avoidance and evasion is a hot topic. On the evasion (illegal activity by individuals) front, the various leaks culminating in the Panama Papers have once again revealed the scope of evasion by the global elite. Gabriel Zucman conservatively estimated the annual revenue loss at $200 billion. On the tax avoidance (legal activity by corporations) front, the OECD BEPS project has estimated the scope of avoidance by multinationals at between $100 and $240 billion per year. By comparison, total US corporate tax revenues are about $400 billion per year. The articles in this volume reflect various aspects of these troubling ...


Formulary Apportionment And International Tax Rules, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Zachee Pouga Tinhaga Jan 2017

Formulary Apportionment And International Tax Rules, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Zachee Pouga Tinhaga

Book Chapters

Any proposal to adopt unitary taxation (UT) of multinationals has to contend with whether such taxation is compatible with existing international tax rules, and, in particular, with the bilateral tax treaty network. Indeed, some researchers have argued that the separate accounting (SA) method and the arm’s length standard (ALS), introduced in the early twentieth century, are so embodied in the treaties that they form part of customary international law, and are binding even in the absence of a treaty. We disagree, because the unitary approach is just as widely embodied in most of the current international tax treaties, and ...


Multinational Firms And Tax Havens, Anna Gumpert, James R. Hines Jr., Monika Schnitzer Oct 2016

Multinational Firms And Tax Havens, Anna Gumpert, James R. Hines Jr., Monika Schnitzer

Articles

Multinational firms with operations in high-tax countries can benefit the most from reallocating taxable income to tax havens, though this is sufficiently difficult and costly that only 20.4% of German multinational firms have any tax haven affiliates. Among German manufacturing firms, a 1 percentage point higher foreign tax rate is associated with a 2.3% greater likelihood of owning a tax haven affiliate. This is consistent with tax avoidance incentives and contrasts with earlier evidence for U.S. firms. The relationship is less strong for firms in service industries, possibly reflecting the difficulty of reallocating taxable service income.


Evaluating Beps: A Reconsideration Of The Benefits Principle And Proposal For Un Oversight, Reuven Avi-Yonah, Haiyan Xu Jan 2016

Evaluating Beps: A Reconsideration Of The Benefits Principle And Proposal For Un Oversight, Reuven Avi-Yonah, Haiyan Xu

Articles

The Financial Crisis of 2008 and Great Recession that followed have exacerbated income inequality within and between countries. In the aftermath of the economic turbulence, politicians have turned their attention to the twin problems of individual tax evasion and corporate tax avoidance. U.S. legislators enacted the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FACTA), leading to the United States signing a series of Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs) for the exchange of tax information. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) developed the Multilateral Agreement for Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (MAATM) and initiated the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project ...


Who Invented The Single Tax Principle?: An Essay On The History Of Us Treaty Policy, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2015

Who Invented The Single Tax Principle?: An Essay On The History Of Us Treaty Policy, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

In 1997, I wrote an article on the international tax challenges posed by the then-nascent electronic commerce, in which I suggested that the international tax regime is based on two principles: the benefits principle and the single tax principle. The benefits principle states that active (business) income should be taxed primarily by the country of source, and passive (investment) income should be taxed primarily by the country of residence. This is the famous compromise reached by the four economists at the foundation of the regime in 1923 and is not particularly controversial. It is embodied in every one of the ...


How Serious Is The Problem Of Base Erosion And Profit Shifting?, James R. Hines Jr. Jan 2014

How Serious Is The Problem Of Base Erosion And Profit Shifting?, James R. Hines Jr.

Articles

In recent years, the problem of base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) by multinational corporations has entered the public consciousness as a potentially important impediment to tax collections. The purpose of this article is to identify the nature of BEPS, consider empirical evidence of its magnitude, and evaluate proposed policy responses. There is considerable evidence that multinational firms arrange their affairs in a tax-sensitive manner, from which it is easy—indeed, perhaps a little too easy—to infer that beps is a serious problem. There are journalistic accounts of apparently spectacular international tax-avoidance schemes used by multinational corporations, though these ...


Corporate And International Tax Reform: Proposals For The Second Obama Administration (And Beyond), Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2013

Corporate And International Tax Reform: Proposals For The Second Obama Administration (And Beyond), Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

The passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) offers an opportune moment to consider proposals for corporate and international tax reform. With the debate over individual tax rates for the income and estate tax settled for the present, the President and Congress are free to consider broader reforms. Few observers doubt that such reforms are sorely needed, for several reasons. First, the long-term budgetary outlook is unsustainable. Second, the U.S. corporate tax rate is the highest in the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD). Third, the current system raises relatively little revenue and large amounts ...


Tax Advice For The Second Obama Administration, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2013

Tax Advice For The Second Obama Administration, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

Delivered January 18, 2013 as the keynote address at a conference cosponsored by Pepperdine Law School and Tax Analysts.


Vive La Petite Difference: Camp, Obama, And Territoriality Reconsidered, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah May 2012

Vive La Petite Difference: Camp, Obama, And Territoriality Reconsidered, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

The recent tax reform proposals by House Ways and Means Committee Chair David Camp, R-Mich., and by President Obama seem to offer starkly contrasting visions of how to reform the taxation of foreign-source income earned by U.S.-based multinational enterprises.1 Both acknowledge the problem, which is that U.S.-based MNEs currently have more than $1 trillion of ‘‘permanently reinvested’’ income offshore, which they cannot bring back to the U.S. without incurring a 35 percent tax penalty. However, they seem to offer radically different solutions: Under the Camp proposal, a participation exemption will enable U.S.-based ...


Symposium On International Taxation And Competitiveness: Introduction And Overview, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Nicola Sartori Jan 2012

Symposium On International Taxation And Competitiveness: Introduction And Overview, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Nicola Sartori

Articles

In February, 2012, the Treasury and White House unveiled President Obama's Framework for Business Tax Reform. A major proposal was to abolish the deferral on income earned by foreign subsidiaries of U.S. corporations ("CFCs").


The Effective Tax Rate Of The Largest Us And Eu Multinationals, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Yaron Lahav Jan 2012

The Effective Tax Rate Of The Largest Us And Eu Multinationals, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Yaron Lahav

Articles

The United States has the second highest statutory corporate tax rate in the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) (after Japan).1 This has not always been the case. After the Tax Reform Act of 1986 lowered the U.S. rate from 46% to 34%,2 the United States had one of the lowest statutory corporate tax rates in the OECD.3 In the past twenty-five years, however, the U.S. rate has remained essentially unchanged (it was raised to 35% in 1993),4 while most other OECD countries reduced their statutory rate so that the OECD average statutory ...


The Tax Revenue Capacity Of The U.S. Economy, James R. Hines Jr. Jan 2012

The Tax Revenue Capacity Of The U.S. Economy, James R. Hines Jr.

Book Chapters

The United States imposes smaller tax burdens than do other large high-income countries, its 24.8 percent ratio of tax collections to GDP in 2010 representing the lowest fraction among the G-7. The United States also differs from other G-7 countries in relying relatively little on expenditure-type taxes. It follows that there is significant unused tax capacity in the United States that could be deployed to pay the country’s debts, but that the most promising source of additional tax revenue is expenditure taxation that is widely perceived to have very different distributional features than the income taxes on which ...


Transfer Pricing Disputes In The United States, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2012

Transfer Pricing Disputes In The United States, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Book Chapters

In 1988, the US Treasury Department published a study of inter-company pricing (the 'White Paper') that included the following endorsement of the so-called arm's length standard (ALS) for examining the reasonableness of transactions between related parties for tax purposes: The arm's length standard is embodied in all U.S. tax treaties; it is in each major model treaty, including the U.S. Model Convention; it is incorporated into most tax treaties to which the United States is not a party; it has been explicitly adopted by international organizations that have addressed themselves to transfer pricing issues; and virtually ...


The Case Against Taxing Citizens, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah May 2010

The Case Against Taxing Citizens, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

The bipartisan tax reform bill recently introduced by Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Judd Gregg, R-N.H., proposes to abolish IRC section 911. That section, which exempts U.S. citizens living overseas from tax on the first $80,000 of earned income, is indeed anomalous in the context of a tax on all income "from whatever source derived," and has been subjected to criticism. However, there is a reason section 911 has been in the code since the 1920s: In its absence, citizenship-based taxation becomes completely unadministrable. Rather than continuing the long argument over section 911, Congress should therefore reexamine ...


Between Formulary Apportionment And The Oecd Guidelines: A Proposal For Reconciliation, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2010

Between Formulary Apportionment And The Oecd Guidelines: A Proposal For Reconciliation, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

In the last 30 years, a debate has been raging in international tax circles between advocates of the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines and the arm’s length standard (ALS) they embody, on the one hand, and advocates of formulary apportionment (FA) on the other. After the adoption of the 1995 regulations and the new OECD Guidelines, the debate became quieter for a while, because everyone was waiting to see whether the issue had been resolved. However, while there have been few decided cases, it is clear by now that the transfer pricing problem is as bad as it ever was ...


International Capital Taxation., Rachel Griffith, James R. Hines Jr., Peter Birch Sørensen Jan 2010

International Capital Taxation., Rachel Griffith, James R. Hines Jr., Peter Birch Sørensen

Book Chapters

Globalization carries profound implications for tax systems, yet most tax systems, including that of the UK, still retain many features more suited to closed economies. The purpose of this chapter is to assess how tax policy should reflect the changing international economic environment. Institutional barriers to the movement of goods, services, capital, and (to a lesser extent) labour have fallen dramatically since the Meade Report (Meade, 1978) was published. So have the costs of moving both real activity and taxable profits between tax jurisdictions. These changes mean that capital and taxable profits in particular are more mobile between jurisdictions than ...


Treasure Islands, James R. Hines Jr. Jan 2010

Treasure Islands, James R. Hines Jr.

Articles

In movies and novels, tax havens are often settings for shady international deals; in practice, they are rather less flashy. Tax havens are countries and territories that offer low tax rates and favorable regulatory policies to foreign investors. For example, tax havens typically tax inbound investment at zero or very low rates and further encourage investment with telecommunications and transportation facilities, other business infrastructure, favorable legal environments, and limited bureaucratic hurdles to starting new firms. Tax havens are small: most are islands; all but a few have populations below one million; and they have above-average incomes. Tax havens are also ...


Obama's International Tax Plan: A Major Step Forward, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah May 2009

Obama's International Tax Plan: A Major Step Forward, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

President Barack Obama last week personally introduced a set of proposals to reform U.S. international taxation that are the most significant advance toward preserving the income tax on cross-border transactions since the enactment of the subpart F rules by the Kennedy administration in 1962. (For prior coverage, see Doc 2009-10047 or 2009 TNT 84-1.) In essence, the Obama proposals introduce a 21stcentury version of the vision begun by Thomas Adams in 1918 and continued by Stanley Surrey in 1961: a world in which source and residence taxation are coordinated so as to achieve the underlying goals of the international ...


The Oecd Harmful Tax Competition Report: A Tenth Anniversary Retrospective, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2009

The Oecd Harmful Tax Competition Report: A Tenth Anniversary Retrospective, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

Eleven years ago the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development published its report "Harmful Tax Competition: An Emerging Global Issue." The Report identified for the first time two problem areas facing international income taxation of geographically mobile activities: tax havens and harmful preferential tax regimes. It sought to initiate activities to eliminate both types of problems.


Reconsidering The Taxation Of Foreign Income, James R. Hines Jr. Jan 2009

Reconsidering The Taxation Of Foreign Income, James R. Hines Jr.

Articles

The purpose of this Article is to analyze the consequences of taxing active foreign business income,1 and in particular, to compare a regime in which a home country taxes foreign income to a regime in which it does not. In practice, countries typically do not adopt such extreme policy positions. For example, a country such as France, which largely exempts foreign business income from taxation, nevertheless taxes small pieces of foreign income;2 and a country such as the United States, which attempts to tax the foreign incomes of U.S. corporations, permits taxpayers to defer home country taxation ...


Double Tax Treaties: An Introduction, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2009

Double Tax Treaties: An Introduction, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Book Chapters

The existing network of more than 2,500 bilateral double tax treaties (DTTs) represents an important part of international law. The current DTTs are all based on two models, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and United Nations (UN) model DTTs, which in turn are based on models developed by the League of Nations between 1927 and 1946. Despite some differences that will be discussed below, all DTTs are remarkably similar in the topics covered (even the order of articles are always the same) and in their language. About 75% of the actual words of any given DTT ...


Closing The International Tax Gap Via Cooperations, Not Competition, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2009

Closing The International Tax Gap Via Cooperations, Not Competition, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Book Chapters

All three major goals of the Volcker task force — reducing tax evasion and loopholes, simplifying the code, and reducing corporate welfare — can be advanced by focusing on the international aspects of the tax gap. These aspects include both enforcement of existing U.S. law on U.S. residents earning income overseas (the evasion issue) and reforming deferral for U.S.-based multinational enterprises (the avoidance issue). To best advance the task force’s three goals, I would propose a change in each of these two major international areas.


Protectionist Pitfalls In U.S. Tax Reform, James R. Hines Jr. Jan 2009

Protectionist Pitfalls In U.S. Tax Reform, James R. Hines Jr.

Book Chapters

The magnitude of current and projected U.S. budget deficits makes it appropriate for the government to cast its net wide in seeking new revenue sources. In doing so, however, there is the danger of misconstruing the role of domestic taxation in a global economy, and thereby designing a tax reform proposal with significant protectionist elements.