GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION OF REVENUE
LOSS FROM CORPORATE TAX
AVOIDANCE: RE-ESTIMATION AND
and PETR JANSKÝ
Tax Justice Network, London, UK
King’s College London, London, UK
Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Abstract: International corporate tax is an important source of government revenue, especially in
lower-income countries. An innovative study of the scale of this problem was carried out by
International Monetary Fund researchers and published in 2016. We ﬁrst re-estimate their model
and then explore the effects of introducing higher-quality revenue data from the International Centre
for Tax and Development–World Institute for Development Economics Research Government
Revenue Database. Whereas IMF researchers report results for two country groups only, we present
country-level results to make the most detailed estimates available. Our ﬁndings support a somewhat
lower estimate of global revenue losses of around US$500 billion annually and indicate that the
greatest intensity of losses occurs in low-income and lower middle-income countries and across
sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and South Asia. © 2018 UNU-WIDER.
Journal of International Development published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Keywords: international taxation; corporate income tax; tax avoidance; tax havens; base erosion;
proﬁt shifting; income inequality; developing countries
JEL Classiﬁcation: F21; F23; H25
International corporate tax is an important source of government ﬁnance in all regions of
the world and is responsible for a larger share of total tax revenues on average in lower-
income countries. At present, the most comprehensive study of the global losses is that
of International Monetary Fund (IMF) researchers (Crivelli, De Mooij, & Keen, 2016).
*Correspondence to: Petr Janský, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.
© 2018 UNU-WIDER. Journal of International Development published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is
non-commercial and the content is offered under identical terms.
Journal of International Development
J. Int. Dev. 30, 206–232 (2018)
Published online in Wiley Online Library
(wileyonlinelibrary.com) DOI: 10.1002/jid.3348