Addressing the Debt-Equity Bias within a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) – Possibilities, Impact on Effective Tax Rates and Revenue Neutrality

Corporate tax systems encourage the use of debt rather than equity finance. This corporate debt bias is a matter of concern in light of its implications for macrofinancial stability. In October 2016, the European Commission addressed the issue in its relaunched proposal of a Common (Consolidated) Corporate Tax Base (CC(C)TB). Various reform options to alleviate the debt bias and increase financing neutrality of tax systems exist. Whether such reforms are indeed effective from the point of view of EU Member States depends on how they interact with the specific local tax codes. Based on the well-established indicators of the effective tax burden of companies according to the Devereux/Griffith methodology, this paper analyses the impact of four fundamental tax reform options on financing neutrality in each EU Member State. The results show that all fundamental tax reform options largely establish financing neutrality in the EU Member States but considerably differ in their consequences for corporate investment.