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Global MNC Tax Complexity Project

The Global MNC Tax Complexity Project is a joint research project of the LMU Munich and the University of Paderborn (both Germany). The aim of this project is to identify the determinants of tax complexity, to develop an index measuring the level of tax complexity across countries [Tax Complexity Index] and to examine the effects of tax complexity.

Tax Complexity Index

The Tax Complexity Index measures the complexity of a country’s corporate income tax system as faced by multinational corporations. The index can range between zero (not complex) and one (extremely complex). It covers the complexity of the tax code (complexity inherent in different tax regulations) and the complexity of the tax framework (complexity that arises from the features and processes of a tax system). The underlying data is obtained through a global survey of local tax consultants of major tax services firms and networks (PARTICIPANTS).
The survey is conducted every two years. At the moment, the website shows the results of the first survey, which was conducted in 2016. The second (2018) survey has recently been completed. We are currently working to compile and share the results on this website.

Project Related Publications

Identification of Tax Complexity Drivers:

Hoppe, Thomas, Schanz, Deborah, Sturm, Susann, Sureth-Sloane, Caren (2018): What are the Drivers of Tax Complexity for MNCs? Global Evidence, Intertax, 46 (8/9), 654-675, available at SSRN.

Development of the Tax Complexity Index:

Will be available online soon.

Studies on Individual Countries:

Hoppe, Thomas, Schanz, Deborah, Sturm, Susann, Sureth-Sloane, Caren (2017): Warum ist unser Steuersystem so komplex? Eine befragungsbasierte Analyse, Die Wirtschaftsprüfung, 70 (17), 1026-1033.

Other Publications:

Hoppe, Thomas, Schanz, Deborah, Sturm, Susann, Sureth-Sloane, Caren (2017): 2016 Global MNC Tax Complexity Survey, Executive Summary. Available here.