Paradise profits : tax planning in multinational companies : a case study of Pfizer Inc.
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- Master Thesis 
In recent years, it has become increasingly evident that current tax regulations are not properly equipped to handle the business structures of multinational companies. A number of revelations and leakages have exposed how such companies, often from the US, make use of tax minimization strategies in order to shift profits and reduce tax liabilities. In this thesis, we examine the inner workings of these arrangements, and analyze the extent of aggressive tax planning in the pharmaceutical company Pfizer. In our preliminary analysis, we find that the company is able to defer large amounts of income tax by stashing $187 billion in profits offshore, ultimately resulting in an effective tax rate of 0.28 percent in 2016. In our work to identify Pfizer’s methods of profit shifting, we find evidence of, inter alia, tax-incentivized location of patents, excessive tax burden in the US and a tax-exempt CV/BV conduit structure in the Netherlands. We thereby conclude that Pfizer exploits loopholes in international tax regulations in order to significantly reduce their tax liability.