Witholding Taxes and the Cost of Public Debt


Harry Huizinga

Publication Date:

February 1, 1994

Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate


Several industrialized countries impose withholding taxes on public interest accruing to nonresidents. This paper examines the international incidence of such withholding taxes by estimating to what extent these taxes raise the cost of government borrowing. It is found that the pretax interest rate is most sensitive to the tax withheld on Japanese investors. In particular, the gross-up is about half of this tax, which suggests that about half is returned to the investor in the form of foreign tax credits. The extent of the gross-up rises over the 1989-93 period, which indicates that in recent years foreign tax credits have been available to a lesser extent.


Working Paper No. 1994/018



Publication Date:

February 1, 1994



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