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The Efficiency Loss of Capital Income Taxation under Imperfect Loss Offset Provisions

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Author Info

  • Syed M. Ahsan
  • Panagiotis Tsigaris

Abstract

The importance of capital loss offset provisions in a world of risk is well documented in the tax literature. However, the potential deadweight losses owing to imperfect offset has not been fully explored. This paper develops a framework whereby that investigation can be carried out and utilizes numerical simulations to investigate the size of potential losses. Results show that when the government and private sector are equally efficient in handling market risk, welfare losses owing to the absence of offset provisions could be substantial. Under plausible assumptions about attitudes towards risk and time preference, and with a capital income tax rate of forty percent, over sixty cents per dollar of tax revenue raised would be dissipated. In contrast, full loss offset would reduce that loss to approximately fourteen cents.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2203.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2203

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Keywords: capital income taxation; uncertainty; deadweight loss; loss offset provisions;

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References

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  1. Gordon, Roger H & Wilson, John Douglas, 1989. "Measuring the Efficiency Cost of Taxing Risky Capital Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 427-39, June.
  2. Zodrow, George R., 1995. "Taxation, uncertainty and the choice of a consumption tax base," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 257-265, October.
  3. Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "Capital Taxation and Accumulation in a Life Cycle Growth Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 533-44, September.
  4. Ahsan, Syed M, 1974. "Progression and Risk-Taking," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(3), pages 318-28, November.
  5. Farmer, Roger E A, 1990. "Rince Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 43-60, February.
  6. Hamilton, Jonathan H, 1987. "Taxation, Savings, and Portfolio Choice in a Continuous Time Model," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , , vol. 42(2), pages 264-82.
  7. Gordon, Roger H, 1985. "Taxation of Corporate Capital Income: Tax Revenues versus Tax Distortions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 100(1), pages 1-27, February.
  8. Bulow, Jeremy I & Summers, Lawrence H, 1984. "The Taxation of Risky Assets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(1), pages 20-39, February.
  9. Harberger, Arnold C, 1971. "Three Basic Postulates for Applied Welfare Economics: An Interpretive Essay," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 785-97, September.
  10. Syed Ahsan & Peter Tsigaris, 1998. "The design of a consumption tax under capital risk," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 68(1), pages 53-78, February.
  11. Diamond, P. A. & McFadden, D. L., 1974. "Some uses of the expenditure function in public finance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 3-21, February.
  12. Sandmo, Agnar, 1998. "Redistribution and the marginal cost of public funds," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 365-382, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Hlouskova, Jaroslava & Tsigaris, Panagiotis, 2012. "Capital Income Taxation and Risk Taking under Prospect Theory," Economics Series 283, Institute for Advanced Studies.

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