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Why Have Corporate Tax Revenues Declined? Another Look

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  • Alan J. Auerbach

Abstract

The relative constancy of non-financial corporate tax revenues as a share of US GDP masks offsetting trends in the ratio of corporate profits to GDP (declining) and the average tax rate (increasing). The average tax rate rose steadily between 1996 and 2003, an increase largely attributable to the importance of tax losses. This rise casts some doubt on the role of tax planning activities in reducing corporate taxes. So, too, does the relative stability of the rate of profit (relative to net assets), which might be expected to have declined had the understatement of profits for tax purposes been increasing. (JEL code: H25, G32) Copyright , Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by CESifo in its journal CESifo Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 53 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 153-171

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Handle: RePEc:oup:cesifo:v:53:y:2007:i:2:p:153-171

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  1. Michael P. Devereux & Rachel Griffith & Alexander Klemm, 2002. "Corporate income tax reforms and international tax competition," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 449-495, October.
  2. Alan J. Auerbach, 2006. "Who Bears the Corporate Tax? A Review of What We Know," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 20, pages 1-40 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Alan J. Auerbach & James M. Poterba, 1986. "Why Have Corporate Tax Revenues Declined?," Working papers 435, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Graham, John R., 1999. "Do personal taxes affect corporate financing decisions?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 147-185, August.
  5. Diego Comin & Thomas Philippon, 2005. "The Rise in Firm-Level Volatility: Causes and Consequences," NBER Working Papers 11388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Mihir A. Desai, 2003. "The Divergence between Book Income and Tax Income," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 17, pages 169-208 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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