Preprint "Taxing Collaborative Software Engineering" available

April 14, 2023 by Michael Dorner

We just submitted our newest publication in the field of tension between collaborative software engineering and its taxation. This article is a comparably easy read (considering the complex topic) and a perfect introduction to the challenges of taxing collaborative software engineering in multinational enterprises.


The engineering of complex software systems is often the result of a highly collaborative effort. However, collaboration within a multinational enterprise has an overlooked legal implication when developers collaborate across national borders: It is taxable. In this short article, we discuss the unsolved problem of taxing collaborative software engineering across borders. We (1) introduce the reader to the basic principle of international taxation, (2) identify three main challenges for taxing collaborative software engineering, and (3) estimate the industrial significance of cross-border collaboration in modern software engineering by measuring cross-border code reviews at a multinational software company.


You can’t wait for the publication? We neither. That’s why we share our work as preprint on arXiv. We also provide a replication package on GitHub that enables you to run the same analysis with your GitHub Enterprise instance!

Feel free to reach out to us with any questions.