DP13385 What Happened to CIT collection? Solving the Rates-Revenues Puzzle

Author(s): Antonella Caiumi, Ina Majewski, Gaëtan Nicodème
Publication Date: December 2018
Date Revised: December 2018
Keyword(s): corporate tax, European Union, Implicit Tax Rate, Incorporation, Tax Reforms
JEL(s): E62, H25, O52
Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=13385

Despite sharp reductions in corporate income tax (CIT) rates worldwide, CIT revenues have not fallen dramatically in the last two decades. This paper investigates the recent developments in CIT in the European Union, by taking a closer look at the potential driving forces behind this puzzle. Using a unique dataset of national sectoral accounts, we decompose the CIT revenue to GDP ratio for the EU and find that while the decrease in the statutory rates has driven down tax collection, the effect was more than offset by a broadening of the taxable base and a slight increase in the size of the corporate sector. However, this result holds for the period 1995-2015 but not for the last decade where base broadening has not been able to match further cuts in rates.