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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 Paderborn University (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.

Suggested Citation

We thank Caren Sureth-Sloane, Deborah Schanz and their team for sharing data from their Global MNC Tax Complexity Project with us, www.taxcomplexity.org. For further information on the survey see Hoppe, Schanz, Sturm, Sureth-Sloane (2020): Measuring Tax Complexity Across Countries: A Survey Study on MNCs, TRR 266 Accounting for Transparency Working Paper Series No. 5. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3469663.

Project Related Publications

Executive Summaries:

Hoppe, Thomas, Schanz, Deborah, Schipp, Adrian, Siegel, Felix, Sturm, Susann, Sureth-Sloane, Caren (2020): 2018 Global MNC Tax Complexity Survey, Executive Summary. Available here.

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

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:

Hoppe, Thomas, Schanz, Deborah, Sturm, Susann, Sureth-Sloane, Caren (2020): Measuring Tax Complexity Across Countries: A Survey Study on MNCs, TRR 266 Accounting for Transparency Working Paper Series No. 5. Available at SSRN.

Tax Complexity and Foreign Direct Investments:

Hoppe, Thomas, Schanz, Deborah, Sturm, Susann, Sureth-Sloane, Caren, Voget, Johannes (2020): The Relation between Tax Complexity and Foreign Direct Investments: Evidence Across Countries, TRR 266 Accounting for Transparency Working Paper Series No. 13. Available at SSRN.

Studies on Individual Countries:

Hoppe, Thomas (2020): Tax Complexity in Australia – A Survey-Based Comparison to the OECD Average. Australian Tax Forum, 35 (4), 451-475.

Sturm, Susann (2020): Tax Complexity in Canada: A Comparative Perspective. Available at SSRN.

Hoppe, Thomas, Safaei, Reyhaneh, Singleton, Amanda, Sureth-Sloane, Caren (2019): Tax Complexity for Multinational Corporations in South Africa – Evidence from a Global Survey, in: Evans, Chris, Franzsen, Riël, Stack, Elizabeth (Hrsg.), Tax Simplification – An African Perspective, Pretoria University Law Press, Pretoria, 267-293. Available here.

Hoppe, Thomas, Rechbauer, Martina, Sturm, Susann (2019): Steuerkomplexität im Vergleich zwischen Deutschland und Österreich – Eine Analyse des Status quo, Steuer und Wirtschaft, 96 (4), 397-412. Preview available here [in German].

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 [in German].