Research

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The Centre for Business Taxation conducts independent academic research into tax policy.

International Tax Business Group

International Tax Business Group

Formed in 2013 by Professor Michael Devereux, this group brings together economists and lawyers from across the world to reconsider the fundamentals of the international tax system and propose more considered reforms. 

The group aims to:

  • set out and examine fundamental issues of principle and practice in the taxation of business profit and the allocation of taxing rights over such profit amongst countries, paying attention to the interests and circumstances of advanced and developing countries
  • evaluate the existing system and potential reform options

The group has considered a number of reform options, including the BEPS (base erosion and profit sharing) reform package put forward by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), strengthening worldwide taxation and unitary taxation and formulary apportionment.

Events and publications

The group has held two conferences to date (in Oxford and Washington DC). Members have also produced several publications and articles, including:

The group is grateful for financial support from the Nuffield Foundation, the Burch Center and the Max Planck Institute.

International Tax Cooperation

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Delegates at International Tax Cooperation Conference

The challenges and opportunities of multilateralism

International Tax Cooperation: the challenges and opportunities of multilateralism

This conference, held on 10-11 December 2018, was supported by the British Academy as part of its Rising Star Engagement Award which was awarded to Dr Anzhela Cédelle.

International tax cooperation is undergoing a period of rapid transformation. The global efforts led by the G20 and the OECD, which were designed to address base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) and enhancing tax transparency, have shaken up traditional institutional and legal approaches. This conference aimed to engage academics (both established and early career), policymakers and representatives of international organisations in the evaluation of recent developments in international tax cooperation and explore the challenges and opportunities created by multilateral approaches.

View full programme and some of the papers presented.  

Key research

Destination-based cash flow tax

The destination-based cash flow tax (DBCFT) is intended to replace a tax on corporate income or profits. Our research has explored whether DBCFT, if adopted by one or more states, would fit with existing double tax treaties.

The treatment of a DBCFT under a double tax treaty depends crucially on whether a DBCFT is within the scope of the 'taxes covered' provisions which are typically included in tax treaties, and in relation to which the various provisions of the treaty are intended to operate. 

Measuring corporation tax across countries

Anecdotal evidence suggests that uncertainty about taxes on profit is important in determining the investment and location behaviour of business. This view is supported by substantial theoretical literature. However, there is very little solid empirical evidence.

In 2016, the Centre conducted a survey of senior tax professionals in large businesses and in professional firms on the uncertainty of corporation tax in major countries. This work formed the basis of a subsequent study undertaken by the OECD.

A total of 88 respondents from businesses in 10 countries answered questions about 25 countries. Over 10% of the world’s businesses, with turnover in excess of $5 billion, were respondents.

 

How much tax do different types of company pay in?

Katarzyna Habu, a former researcher at the Centre, explored the question of how much corporation tax different types of company pay in the UK. This research used UK corporate tax returns made available by HMRC in its Datalab.