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Why Have Corporate Tax Revenues Declined? Another Look

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  • Auerback, Alan J.
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    Abstract

    The relative constancy of nonfinancial corporate tax revenues as a share of U.S. 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.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics in its series Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt6w372076.

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    Date of creation: 02 Jan 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:cdl:oplwec:qt6w372076

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    Keywords: corporate profits; tax shelters; tax losses;

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    1. Diego A. Comin & Thomas Philippon, 2006. "The Rise in Firm-Level Volatility: Causes and Consequences," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20, pages 167-228 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Alan J. Auerbach & James M. Poterba, 1986. "Why Have Corporate Tax Revenues Declined?," Working papers 435, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    3. Alan J. Auerbach, 2005. "Who Bears the Corporate Tax? A review of What We Know," NBER Working Papers 11686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Graham, John R., 1999. "Do personal taxes affect corporate financing decisions?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 147-185, August.
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