The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Motivated by the concern that corporate income tax (CIT) competition may have eroded the tax base, this paper calculates average effective tax rates to measure the impact of CIT competition, including the widespread use of tax holidays, on the tax base for 15 countries in the Caribbean. The results not only confirm erosion of the tax base, but also show that CIT holidays must be removed for recent tax policy initiatives (such as accelerated depreciation, loss carry forward provisions, and tax harmonization) to be effective. These findings suggest that the authorities should either avoid granting CIT holidays or rely more on other taxes (including consumption taxes such as the value-added tax) in order to broaden the tax base.