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Corporations’ Choice of Tax Regime when Transition Costs are Small and Income Shifting Potential is Large

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  • Annette Alstadsæter
  • Knut Reidar Wangen

Abstract

The literature provides ambiguous results on the effect of taxes on businesses’ choice of organizational form, partly due to a lack of good firm-level data. Our micro data covers the full population of non-financial Norwegian corporations over ten years. During this period, the dual income tax system allowed corporations to shift tax regime without changing organizational form. We show that the income shifting potential is large for the active owners of a corporation that participate in a tax reducing coalition. Our results show that corporations respond to tax incentives and change tax regime in order to reduce tax payments. But persistent cohort effects in the choice of tax regime and substantial unobserved corporation-specific effects indicate that non-tax factors matter as well. Corporations founded prior to the introduction of the dual income tax differ substantially from those founded after in their adaptation to the incentives for shifting tax regime.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2392.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2392

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Related research

Keywords: corporate taxation; choice of tax regime; tax minimization;

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References

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  1. Pirttilä, Jukka & Selin, Håkan, 2006. "How Successful is the Dual Income Tax? Evidence from the Finnish Tax Reform of 1993," Working Paper Series 2006:26, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  2. Thor O. Thoresen, 2004. "Reduced Tax Progressivity in Norway in the Nineties: The Effect from Tax Changes," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 487-506, 08.
  3. Roger H. Gordon & Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason, 1992. "Tax Distortions to the Choice of Organizational Form," NBER Working Papers 4227, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason & Roger H. Gordon, 1991. "How Much Do Taxes Discourage Incorporation," NBER Working Papers 3781, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Hansson, Åsa, 2004. "Taxpayers Responsiveness to Tax Rate Changes and Implications for the Cost of Taxation," Working Papers 2004:5, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  6. Gentry, William M., 1994. "Taxes, financial decisions and organizational form : Evidence from publicly traded partnerships," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 223-244, February.
  7. Seppo Kari & Hanna Karikallio & Jukka Pirttilä, 2008. "Anticipating Tax Changes: Evidence from the Finnish Corporate Income Tax Reform of 2005," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 29(2), pages 167-196, 06.
  8. Austan Goolsbee, 1997. "Taxes, Organizational Form, and the Deadweight Loss of the Corporate Income Tax," NBER Working Papers 6173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Thor O. Thoresen & Annette Alstadsæter, 2008. "Shifts in organizational form under a dual income tax system," Discussion Papers 529, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  10. Annette Alstadsaeter, 2007. "The Achilles Heel of the Dual Income Tax: The Norwegian Case," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 5-22, Spring.
  11. Goolsbee, Austan, 2004. "The impact of the corporate income tax: evidence from state organizational form data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(11), pages 2283-2299, September.
  12. Erik Fjaerli & Diderik Lund, 2001. "The choice between owner's wages and dividends under the dual income tax," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 104-119, Autumn.
  13. Alfons Weichenrieder, 2005. "(Why) Do we need Corporate Taxation?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1495, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Tobias Lindhe & Jan Södersten & Ann �berg, 2004. "Economic Effects of Taxing Different Organizational Forms under the Nordic Dual Income Tax," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 469-485, 08.
  15. Erik Fj�rli, 2004. "Tax Reform and the Demand for Debt," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 435-467, 08.
  16. Peter Sørensen, 1994. "From the global income tax to the dual income tax: Recent tax reforms in the Nordic countries," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 57-79, February.
  17. Romanov, Dmitri, 2006. "The corporation as a tax shelter: Evidence from recent Israeli tax changes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1939-1954, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Thor O. Thoresen & Annette Alstadsæter, 2010. "Shifts in Organizational Form under a Dual Income Tax System," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 66(4), pages 384-418, December.
  2. Annette Alstadsæter & Erik Fjaerli, 2009. "Neutral Taxation of Shareholder Income? Corporate Responses to an Announced Dividend Tax," CESifo Working Paper Series 2530, CESifo Group Munich.

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