Purpose – Prior literature shows that income shifting is widely performed by multinational groups, but no research as yet has studied alignment between controlling and minority interests on tax avoidance in multinational groups with high ownership concentration. This study aims to analyze the effect of high ownership concentration on cross-jurisdictional tax-motivated income shifting. Design/methodology/approach – To test the hypotheses, this study focuses on European multinational groups. Data are collected on European parent firms and each subsidiary. The model considers the natural logarithm of profit before tax and tax incentive. Findings – Findings show that subsidiaries shift income for tax avoidance purposes. The alignment of shareholders’ interests and ownership concentration leads to higher levels of tax avoidance through subsidiaries’ infra-group transactions. High ownership concentration decreases the influence of minority interests and allows parent company shareholders to choose a tax avoidance strategy more freely. Practical implications – The results suggest that taxation levels need to be harmonized to reduce the incentive for tax avoidance and the incentive of governments to reduce their statutory tax rate, to shift profits inwards and reduce outward flow. Without international coordination, this approach may lead to the unevenness of legislative frameworks around the world, and bring significant disadvantages for some countries, influencing economic growth and business development. Originality/value – This study extends prior findings showing that tax-motivated income shifting as a method of tax avoidance in European multinational groups is stronger in groups with high levels of ownership concentration. This means that managers have the incentive to shift income between subsidiaries for tax and ownership benefits in favor of the parent company’s shareholders and against minority interests.

High ownership concentration and income shifting in multinational groups / Medioli, Alice; Azzali, Stefano; Mazza, Tatiana. - In: MANAGEMENT RESEARCH REVIEW. - ISSN 2040-8269. - (2022). [10.1108/MRR-02-2021-0141]

High ownership concentration and income shifting in multinational groups

Alice Medioli
;
Stefano Azzali;Tatiana Mazza
2022

Abstract

Purpose – Prior literature shows that income shifting is widely performed by multinational groups, but no research as yet has studied alignment between controlling and minority interests on tax avoidance in multinational groups with high ownership concentration. This study aims to analyze the effect of high ownership concentration on cross-jurisdictional tax-motivated income shifting. Design/methodology/approach – To test the hypotheses, this study focuses on European multinational groups. Data are collected on European parent firms and each subsidiary. The model considers the natural logarithm of profit before tax and tax incentive. Findings – Findings show that subsidiaries shift income for tax avoidance purposes. The alignment of shareholders’ interests and ownership concentration leads to higher levels of tax avoidance through subsidiaries’ infra-group transactions. High ownership concentration decreases the influence of minority interests and allows parent company shareholders to choose a tax avoidance strategy more freely. Practical implications – The results suggest that taxation levels need to be harmonized to reduce the incentive for tax avoidance and the incentive of governments to reduce their statutory tax rate, to shift profits inwards and reduce outward flow. Without international coordination, this approach may lead to the unevenness of legislative frameworks around the world, and bring significant disadvantages for some countries, influencing economic growth and business development. Originality/value – This study extends prior findings showing that tax-motivated income shifting as a method of tax avoidance in European multinational groups is stronger in groups with high levels of ownership concentration. This means that managers have the incentive to shift income between subsidiaries for tax and ownership benefits in favor of the parent company’s shareholders and against minority interests.
High ownership concentration and income shifting in multinational groups / Medioli, Alice; Azzali, Stefano; Mazza, Tatiana. - In: MANAGEMENT RESEARCH REVIEW. - ISSN 2040-8269. - (2022). [10.1108/MRR-02-2021-0141]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11381/2931392
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