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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 1994Do Repatriation Taxes Matter? Evidence from the Tax Returns of U.S. Multinationals
with Rosanne Altshuler, T. Scott Newlon: w4667
An open question in the literature on the taxation of multinational corporations is whether repatriation taxes influence whether the profits of foreign subsidiaries are repatriated or reinvested abroad. Theoretical models suggest that dividend remittances should not be influenced by repatriation taxes. The results of recent empirical work indicate that dividend remittances are sensitive to repatriation taxes. This paper investigates whether the empirical evidence can be reconciled with the theoretical results by recognizing that repatriation taxes on dividends may vary over time and provide firms with an incentive to time repatriations so that they occur in years when repatriation tax rates are relatively low. We use information about cross-country differences in tax rates to separatel...

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