On March 6th 2020, Jaron H. Wilde (University of Iowa) presented his current reserach topic "Beyond Borders: Supergovernment Monitoring and Tax Enforcement" (co-authored with Zackery D. Fox and Ryan J. Wilson - both University of Oregon) at the WHU Research Seminar in Finance & Accounting.
Amid growing globalization, many countries have offered significant tax incentives to attract corporate investment. Recently, the E.U. began investigations of tax ruling practices of several member countries in response to allegations that certain firms received favorable tax treatment (“state aid cases”). The authors use this state aid setting to study the nature, extent, and economic consequences of supergovernment tax enforcement. They first examine E.U. scrutiny of U.S. firms by identifying the E.U.’s acquisition of publicly available financial statement information from the SEC’s EDGAR database. Wilde an his co-authors show the E.U.s scrutiny of U.S. firms is not limited to the four prominent U.S. firms targeted in formal state aid investigations. They find that E.U. attention is associated with disclosures of activity in the countries targeted by the state aid investigations. The authors also document a substantial decline in U.S. investment to these countries in the years following state aid tax investigations relative to other E.U. member countries. Their results highlight potentially significant real effects of supergovernment tax enforcement and illustrate the likely reason why the individual countries providing the favorable tax treatment side with the firms and contest the rulings.