Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Publications

 

Todd Moss testifies at the SFRC on Zimbabwe's election
December 6, 2018

US Policy Responses to Zimbabwe’s Illusory Reforms

“Events since the election have only reinforced that pessimism. We have heard lots of rhetoric on democracy, national reconciliation, and economic reform. We can point to a few token gestures of change. But below the surface, very little, if any, meaningful structural change has occurred.”

Cover of "Reading the Missing Profits of Nations"
November 16, 2018

Reading the Missing Profits of Nations

“The Missing Profits of Nations,” by Thomas Tørsløv, Ludvig Wier, and Gabriel Zucman is a recent high-profile study seeking to assess profit shifting by multinational corporations. Headlines such as “40 percent of multinational profits are shifted” are at risk of being misinterpreted as indicating potential revenue gains that are higher than their findings suggest.

Maya Forstater
Cover of Policy Paper 132
November 13, 2018

Should Developing Countries Sign the OECD Multilateral Instrument to Address Treaty-Related Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Measures?

The Multilateral Instrument (MLI) is a groundbreaking mechanism to update the network of thousands of bilateral tax treaties that make up the international tax system. This paper argues that developing countries should sign up to the MLI, but that they can afford to take a wait-and-see approach to selecting and finalizing options, while reviewing the options selected by other countries and building capacity for implementation. Developing countries should also be cautious about entering into new tax treaties to be sure that provisions are in their favour.

Cover of Policy Paper 128
July 16, 2018

What Mining Can Learn from Oil: A Study of Special Transfer Pricing Practices in the Oil Sector, and their Potential Application to Hard Rock Minerals

Governments of mining countries are vulnerable to investors manipulating transfer prices as a means of avoiding paying taxes. This paper looks at whether special practices in the oil sector that provide materially greater protection against transfer pricing risk could be applied to hard rock minerals. These are (1) administrative pricing, where government, rather than the taxpayer sets the price for crude oil; and (2) the no-profit rule, which prevents joint venture partners from charging a profit mark-up on the cost of providing goods and services to the group.

Cover of Policy Paper 118
February 8, 2018

Tax and Development: New Frontiers of Research and Action

This paper looks at estimates of the potential gains from taxing across borders, alongside largely domestic measures such as property tax, personal income tax, VAT, and tobacco taxes. It finds that while action on cross-border taxation could yield additional tax take in the region of one percent of GDP, in many countries measures targeting the domestic tax base might deliver something in the region of nine percent. The main enabler is political commitment.

Maya Forstater
Cover of brief on Tax and Development
February 8, 2018

Tax and Development: New Frontiers of Research and Action (Brief)

Domestic measures have greater potential for raising tax yields over time. Rough estimates indicate that there may be $9 of additional tax capacity from domestic policy measures for every $1 from international action. The main enabler is political commitment.

Maya Forstater