Implicit taxes of u.S. domestic and multinational firms during the past quarter century


Dyreng et al. (2017) find that the effective tax rates for both foreign and domestic firms have been steadily decreasing during recent decades and that multinational firms (MNEs) do not have a tax advantage relative to domestic firms. This paper extends this research and examines implicit taxes for MNEs relative to domestic firms. We find evidence that implicit taxes are approximately 32 percent lower for MNEs. We exploit differences in the exposure to various market frictions to help explain how MNEs could have lower implicit taxes than domestic firms. We find that MNEs face less competition, operate in countries with higher unemployment rates, use patents more frequently, tend to have more global supply chains, and are more vertically integrated when compared to domestic firms. We also find that firms with relatively higher product concentration and relatively lower product similarity exhibit approximately 35 percent lower implicit taxes.

Publication Title

Journal of the American Taxation Association