Friday, August 26, 2011

Another of my international tax articles comes out

My paper "The Rising Tax-Electivity of U.S. Corporate Residence," previously posted here, has now officially come out in the Tax Law Review. A link to the published version is available here.

The abstract is as follows:

"In an increasingly integrated global economy, with rising cross-border stock listings and share ownership, U.S. corporate residence for income tax purposes, which relies on one’s place of incorporation, may become increasingly elective for new equity. Existing equity in U.S. companies, however, is effectively trapped here, given the difficulty of expatriating for tax purposes absent a bona fide acquisition by new owners.

"Both the prospect of rising tax electivity for new equity and the very different situation facing old U.S. equity have important implications for U.S. international tax policy. This paper therefore explores three main questions: (1) the extent to which U.S. corporate residence actually is becoming elective for new equity, (2) the implications of rising electivity for the age-old (though often mutually misguided) debate between proponents of residence-based worldwide corporate taxation on the one hand and a territorial or exemption system for foreign source income on the other, and (3) the transition issues for old equity if a territorial system is adopted."

In addition to the discussion referenced in the abstract, the paper foreshadows and provides a brief exploration of a somewhat bigger topic: what (in my view) is fundamentally wrong with a lot of contemporary academic international tax policy analysis, and what the analysis should instead look like. Much more on this to come in my book in progress, Fixing the U.S. International Tax Rules.

Some of the building blocks of this analysis also appear in the two main versions of my recent article on foreign tax credits, available here and here. But in Fixing I hope to have it all nailed down more definitively and concisely.

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