The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has published a major new study on corporate tax, which specifically aims to add value to the ongoing debate on MNE tax avoidance in developing countries.

The study used the ICTD Government Revenue Dataset to provide a baseline for the revenue contribution of MNEs in developing countries.

  • UNCTAD estimates the fiscal contribution of MNE foreign affiliates in developing countries at $730 billion annually, representing on average, around 23% of corporate payments and 10% of total government revenues.
  • Some 30% of global cross-border corporate investments stocks – FDI, plus investments through Special Purpose Entities (SPEs) – have been routed through offshore hubs.
  • The report estimates that $100 billion of annual tax revenue for developing countries from MNE is lost through offshore investment links. The estimated tax losses represent around one-third of corporate income taxes that would be due in the absence of profit shifting.

UNCTAD has also proposed a set of guidelines for Coherent International Tax and Investment Policies and is requesting for feedback, particularly on the proposed guidelines. Please send your feedback through the Investment Policy Hub (

Also have a look at ICTD’s ongoing research project on Unitary Taxation of Transnational Corporations with Special Reference to Developing Countries.