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Lecture In Human Rights: Tax Policy, Global Economics, Labor And Justice In Light Of Covid-19, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Apr 2021

Lecture In Human Rights: Tax Policy, Global Economics, Labor And Justice In Light Of Covid-19, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

International Tax Law has extensive ramifications on the wealth gap between wealthy developed nations and poor developing nations. This divide in prosperity has been made clear again in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Developing nations are currently ill-equipped to adapt to, and regulate, an equitable system of taxation on a domestic level. A further challenge is the difficulty of ensuring that foreign investors, especially multinational corporations, are able to comply with tax regulations. Developed nations such as the United States and members of the European Union must continue to work with developing nations to reduce tax evasion and ...


Federalizing Tax Justice, Reuven Avi-Yonah, Orli Avi-Yonah, Nir Fishbien, Hayian Xu Feb 2021

Federalizing Tax Justice, Reuven Avi-Yonah, Orli Avi-Yonah, Nir Fishbien, Hayian Xu

Articles

The United States is the only large federal country that does not have an explicit way to reduce the economic disparities among more and less developed regions. In Germany, for example, federal revenues are distributed by a formula that takes into account the relative level of wealth of each state (the so-called Finanzausgleich, or fiscal equalization). Similar mechanisms are found in Australia, Canada, India, and other large federal countries. The United States, on the other hand, has no such explicit redistribution. Each state is generally considered equal and sovereign, and the federal government does not distribute revenues to equalize the ...


A Positive Dialectic: Beps And The United States, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Sep 2020

A Positive Dialectic: Beps And The United States, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

This essay addresses the interaction between the changes in the international tax regime identified by Mason and U.S. international tax policy. Specifically, I will argue that contrary to the general view, the United States actively implemented the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) recommendations through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). Moreover, the changes of the TCJA influenced the current OECD effort of BEPS 2.0. Thus, the current state of affairs can be characterized as a constructive dialogue: The OECD moves (BEPS 1), the United States responds ...


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 ...


The Futility Of Walls: How Traveling Corporations Threaten State Sovereignty, Darren Rosenblum Jan 2019

The Futility Of Walls: How Traveling Corporations Threaten State Sovereignty, Darren Rosenblum

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

Inversions--mergers in which one firm merges with another abroad to avoid taxes in its home country--have spread as globalization has reduced many of the transactional costs associated with relocating. As firms acquire the power to choose the laws that govern them, they challenge the sovereignty of nation-states, who find their ability to tax and regulate firms depleted. States and firms compete in a game of cat and mouse to adapt to this new global reality. The subversion of state power by these firms reveals the futility of walls, both literal and regulatory. This Essay describes the phenomenon of these “traveling ...


Before International Tax Reform, We Need To Understand Why Firms Invert, Michael S. Knoll Sep 2017

Before International Tax Reform, We Need To Understand Why Firms Invert, Michael S. Knoll

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

A wave of corporate inversions by U.S. firms over the past two decades has generated substantial debate in academic, business, and policy circles.

The core of the debate hinges on a couple of key economic questions: Do U.S. tax laws disadvantage U.S.-domiciled companies relative to their foreign competitors? And, if so, do inversions improve the competitiveness of U.S. multinational firms both abroad and at home?

There is unfortunately little, if any, empirical work directly determining whether U.S.-based MNCs are currently tax-disadvantaged compared to their foreign rivals, or measuring the amount by which (if ...


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 ...


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 ...


Country By Country Reporting And Corporate Privacy: Some Unanswered Questions, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Dec 2016

Country By Country Reporting And Corporate Privacy: Some Unanswered Questions, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

Corporate privacy is an oxymoron. Individuals have a right to privacy, which the Supreme Court has recognized at least since Griswold v. Connecticut (1965). Warren and Brandeis’ famous defense of the right to privacy (1890) clearly applied only to individuals, because only individuals have the kind of feelings that are affected by invasions of privacy. Corporations are legal entities, and the concept of privacy does not apply to them, as the Supreme Court held in 1906. Thus, any objection to making corporate tax returns public cannot rest on the right to privacy. In fact, corporate returns were made public in ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


Beyond Territoriality And Deferral: The Promise Of "Managed And Controlled", Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Aug 2011

Beyond Territoriality And Deferral: The Promise Of "Managed And Controlled", Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

In the new version of his Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., once again proposed to modify the definition of residence for domestic corporations (IRC section 7701). Section 103 of the act seeks to: stop companies run from the United States claiming foreign status by treating foreign corporations that are publicly traded or have gross assets of $50 million or more and whose management and control occur primarily in the United States as U.S. domestic corporations for income tax purposes. [Emphasis in original.] This is not a new suggestion. In response to the inversions of the ...


Money On The Table: Why The U.S. Should Tax Inbound Capital Gains, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jul 2011

Money On The Table: Why The U.S. Should Tax Inbound Capital Gains, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

On March 21, 2011, AT&T announced that it will buy T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion. This transaction will be tax free to Deutsche Telekom (DT) not because it qualifies as a reorganization, but because DT is a foreign corporation and capital gains of nonresidents are generally not subject to U.S. taxation because they are deemed to be foreign source. Also, DT is protected from taxation by article 13(5) of the Germany-U.S. tax treaty, which provides that capital gains are generally taxable only by the country of residence.


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 ...


A Comprehensive Theory Of Deal Structure: Understanding How Transactional Structure Creates Value, Michael S. Knoll, Daniel M. G. Raff Jan 2010

A Comprehensive Theory Of Deal Structure: Understanding How Transactional Structure Creates Value, Michael S. Knoll, Daniel M. G. Raff

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


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 ...


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 ...


Allocating Business Profits For Tax Purposes: A Proposal To Adopt A Formulary Profit Split, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Kimberly A. Clausing, Michael C. Durst Jan 2009

Allocating Business Profits For Tax Purposes: A Proposal To Adopt A Formulary Profit Split, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Kimberly A. Clausing, Michael C. Durst

Articles

The current system of taxing the income of multinational firms in the United States is flawed across multiple dimensions. The system provides an artificial tax incentive to earn income in low-tax countries, rewards aggressive tax planning, and is not compatible with any common metrics of efficiency. The U.S. system is also notoriously complex; observers are nearly unanimous in lamenting the heavy compliance burdens and the impracticality of coherent enforcement. Further, despite a corporate tax rate one standard deviation above that of other OECD countries, the U.S. corporate tax system raises relatively little revenue, due in part to the ...


International Law: Private Law In United States Law, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2009

International Law: Private Law In United States Law, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Book Chapters

This article discusses some aspects of the development of international economic law in the United States since the end of World War I and the impact it had on the development of international economic law generally, focusing specifically on the three areas in which U.S. law had the most significant impact on international economic law: international trade and investment, international taxation, and international antitrust measures. In general, in all three areas U.S. law had considerable influence on the development of international economic law in the twentieth century. However, the degree of influence in these and other areas varied ...


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 ...


Allocating Business Profits For Tax Purposes: A Proposal To Adopt A Formulary Profit Split, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Kimberly A. Clausing, Michael C. Durst Dec 2008

Allocating Business Profits For Tax Purposes: A Proposal To Adopt A Formulary Profit Split, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Kimberly A. Clausing, Michael C. Durst

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

The current system of taxing the income of multinational firms in the United States is flawed across multiple dimensions. The system provides an artificial tax incentive to earn income in low-tax countries, rewards aggressive tax planning, and is not compatible with any common metrics of efficiency. The U.S. system is also notoriously complex; observers are nearly unanimous in lamenting the heavy compliance burdens and the impracticality of coherent enforcement. Further, despite a corporate tax rate one standard deviation above that of other OECD countries, the U.S. corporate tax system raises relatively little revenue, due in part to the ...


Back To The Future? The Potential Revival Of Territoriality, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jan 2008

Back To The Future? The Potential Revival Of Territoriality, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

Since 1994, the trend in the United States and other developed countries appears to be to reduce the scope of residence jurisdiction and increase the emphasis on source jurisdiction. If this trend continues, these countries are likely to move toward territoriality and decrease the emphasis on their CFC rules. In the author’s opinion, the reason for this trend is political and economic, not legal. It is part of tax competition, specifically the competition to be the headquarters jurisdiction for multinationals. The author also thinks, however, that it is not necessary to go down this road because the solution to ...


Dividend Policy Inside The Multinational Firm, Mihir A. Desai, C. Fritz Foley, James R. Hines Jr. Jan 2007

Dividend Policy Inside The Multinational Firm, Mihir A. Desai, C. Fritz Foley, James R. Hines Jr.

Articles

This paper examines the determinants of profit repatriation policies for US multinational firms. Dividend repatriations are surprisingly persistent and resemble dividend payments to external shareholders. Tax considerations influence dividend repatriations, but not decisively, as differentially-taxed entities feature similar policies and some firms incur avoidable tax penalties. Parent companies requiring cash to fund domestic investments, or to pay dividends to common shareholders, draw on the resources of their foreign affiliates through repatriations. Incompletely controlled affiliates are more likely than others to make regular dividend payments and to trigger avoidable tax costs through repatriations. The results indicate that traditional corporate finance concerns ...