Browsing by Subject "TAXATION"

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  • Boonzaaier, Wian; Harju, Jarkko; Matikka, Tuomas; Pirttilä, Jukka (2019)
    We study the responsiveness of small- and medium-sized firms to a small-business corporate income tax schedule using population-wide administrative data from South Africa. We find sizeable bunching of firms at the corporate income thresholds where the corporate tax rate increases, implying active responses to corporate income taxes. The observed bunching is very sharp and reacts immediately to changes in the location of the kink points. These observations suggest that a sizeable part of the response is driven by reporting responses rather than real economic behavior. We find indicative evidence that reporting behavior is linked to underreporting of sales and legal tax-planning activities.
  • Eskelinen, Teppo; Ylonen, Matti (2017)
    Tax havens and tax flight have lately received increasing attention, while interest toward multilateral trade policies has somewhat diminished. We argue that more attention needs to be paid exactly to the interrelations between trade and tax policies. Drawing from two case studies on Panama's trade disputes, we show how World Trade Organization (WTO) rules can be used both to resist attempts to sanction secrecy structures and to promote measures against tax flight. The theory of new constitutionalism can help to explain how trade treaties can 'lock in' tax policies. However, our case studies show that trade policy not only 'locks in' democratic policy-making, but also enables tax havens to use their commercialized sovereignty to resists anti-secrecy measures. What is being 'locked in' are the policy tools, not necessarily the policies. The changing relationship between trade and tax policies can also create new and unexpected tools for tackling tax evasion, underlining the importance of epistemic arbitrage in the context of new constitutionalism. In principle, political actors with sufficient technical and juridical knowledge can shape global tax governance to various directions regardless of their formal position in the world political hierarchies. This should be taken into account when trade treaties are being negotiated or revised.
  • Ylonen, Matti; Teivainen, Teivo (2018)
    Intra-firm trade is an emerging issue. One of its key elements is the international shifting of profits, for example, through transfer pricing that big enterprises use to cross-subsidise their subsidiaries, often to avoid taxes. Accounting rules conceal much of the information about transfer pricing, reproducing secrecy and facilitating the use of administered prices. Given the prevalence of administered price setting, a significant amount of international trade cannot be meaningfully analysed as market transactions. This provokes questions about the validity of market assumptions in research on trade in particular and global capitalism more generally. Our specific contribution focuses on the role of the arm's length principle and the significance of cross-subsidisation and other forms of corporate planning in intra-firm trade. Under certain conditions, price planning by private corporations should be analysed as political rule within the economic sphere. Since the politics of the world economy is not merely related to governmental intervention, corporations should also be theorised as potentially political entities. Crossing the disciplinary boundaries between political economy and normative political theory, we suggest that the politicisation of intra-firm trade opens possibilities for creating more effective responses to price administration and for creating more democratic ways of governing the global economy.