Tax-Haven Investors and Corporate Profitability – Evidence of Profit Shifting by German Affiliates of Multinational Firms
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This paper uses confidential firm-level panel data to provide new estimates of corporate profit shifting by German affiliates of multinational corporations. The estimated semielasticity suggests that the profits of German affiliates are highly sensitive to foreign tax rate changes. The semielasticity is higher when at least one investor is located in a tax haven and is not significant when a company has never had a tax-haven investor. Using the tax attractiveness index as an alternative operationalization of the profit-shifting incentive yields similar but less robust results. The estimated effects are used to extrapolate aggregate revenue losses, which range between EUR 1.5 and 5.8 billion in 2016. The results suggest that ownership links to tax havens are an informative indicator of whether or not a company engages in international profit shifting.