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Profit Taxation and Finance Constraints

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  • Keuschnigg, Christian
  • Ribi, Evelyn

Abstract

In the absence of financing frictions, profit taxes reduce investment by their effect on the user cost of capital. With finance constraints due to moral hazard, investment becomes sensitive to cash-flow and own equity of firms. We propose a corporate finance model of investment and derive three central results: (i) Even small taxes impose first order welfare losses on financially constrained firms; (ii) ACE and cash-flow tax systems, which are investment neutral in the neoclassical model, are no longer neutral when firms are finance constrained. (iii) When banks are active and provide external finance together with monitoring services, the two systems not only reduce investment, but are also no longer equivalent. With active banks, investment is subject to double moral hazard and the timing of tax payments becomes important. The ACE system gives tax relief at the return stage and provides better incentives than a cash-flow tax which gives tax relief upfront.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7433.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7433

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Keywords: ACE tax; cash-flow tax; Finance constraints; profit tax;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Magnus Henrekson & Tino Sanandaji, 2011. "Entrepreneurship and the theory of taxation," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 167-185, September.
  2. Ruud de Mooij & M.P. Devereux, 2009. "An applied analysis of ACE and CBIT reform in the EU," CPB Discussion Paper 128, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  3. Haufler, Andreas & Runkel, Marco, 2012. "Firms' financial choices and thin capitalization rules under corporate tax competition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1087-1103.
  4. Marko Köthenbürger & Michael Stimmelmayr, 2009. "Corporate Taxation and Corporate Governance," CESifo Working Paper Series 2881, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Edgerton, Jesse, 2010. "Investment incentives and corporate tax asymmetries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 936-952, December.
  6. Christian Keuschnigg, 2010. "Die volkswirtschaftliche Bedeutung des Accounting," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2010 2010-03, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.

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