Document Type



Tax Law Review, Vol. 64, No. 4, 2011


Observers of international tax rules have long conflated two distinct effects of the foreign tax credit on multinational firms: the effect on the incentive to invest abroad and the effect on foreign tax sensitivity. With national welfare as the policy objective, we discuss how a burden neutral shift from foreign tax credits to deductibility could be designed to improve distortions associated with insensitivity to foreign taxation without raising aggregate burdens on outward foreign investment. We also provide new evidence suggesting that the tax sensitivity of outward foreign direct investment is indeed reduced for OECD countries using foreign tax credits, in comparison with other OECD countries. Finally, we discuss policy considerations surrounding a possible burden-neutral shift from foreign tax creditability to deductibility.

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