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Anticipating Tax Changes: Evidence from the Finnish Corporate Income Tax Reform of 2005

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  • Seppo Kari
  • Hanna Karikallio
  • Jukka Pirttilä

Abstract

Using register-based panel data covering all Finnish firms in 1999?2004, we examine how corporations anticipated the 2005 dividend tax increase via changes in their dividend and investment policies. The Finnish capital and corporate income tax reform of 2005 creates a useful opportunity to measure this behaviour, since it involves exogenous vexamine how corporations anticipated the 2005 dividend tax increase via changes in their dividend and investment policies. The Finnish capital and corporate income tax reform of 2005 creates a useful opportunity to measure this behaviour, since it involves exogenous variation in the tax treatment of different types of firms. The estimation results reveal that those firms that anticipated a dividend tax hike increased their dividend payouts in a statistically significant way. This increase was not accompanied by a reduction in investment activities, but rather was associated with increased indebtedness in non-listed firms. The results also suggest that the timing of dividend distributions probably offsets much of the potential for increased dividend tax revenue following the reform. JEL Classification: H25, H32

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT) in its series Discussion Papers with number 447.

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Date of creation: 02 Jul 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fer:dpaper:447

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Keywords: Corporate income taxation; dividends; tax reform; anticipation effects;

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References

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  1. Jeffrey R. Brown & Nellie Liang & Scott Weisbenner, 2007. "Executive Financial Incentives and Payout Policy: Firm Responses to the 2003 Dividend Tax Cut," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(4), pages 1935-1965, 08.
  2. Auerbach, Alan J, 1989. "Tax Reform and Adjustment Costs: The Impact on Investment and Market Value," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(4), pages 939-62, November.
  3. Roger Gordon & Martin Dietz, 2006. "Dividends and Taxes," NBER Working Papers 12292, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Seppo Kari & Hanna Karikallio, 2007. "Tax treatment of dividends and capital gains and the dividend decision under dual income tax," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 427-456, August.
  5. Casey, K Mike, et al, 1999. "Examining the Impact of the 1986 Tax Reform Act on Corporate Dividend Policy: A New Methodology," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 34(3), pages 33-46, August.
  6. Chetty, Raj & Saez, Emmanuel, 2004. "Dividend Taxes and Corporate Behaviour: Evidence from the 2003 Dividend Tax Cut," CEPR Discussion Papers 4722, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Steve Bond & Michael Devereux & Alexander Klemm, 2005. "Dissecting dividend decisions: some clues about the effects of dividend taxation from recent UK reforms," IFS Working Papers W05/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  8. Robert A Moffitt & Mark Wilhelm, 2000. "Taxation and the Labor Supply - Decisions of the Affluent," Economics Working Paper Archive 414, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  9. Luis Alvarez & Vesa Kanniainen & Jan Södersten, 1999. "Why is the Corporation Tax Not Neutral?. Anticipated Tax Reform, Investment Spurts and Corporate Borrowing," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 56(3/4), pages 285-, July.
  10. Alan J. Auerbach & Kevin A. Hassett, 2005. "The 2003 Dividend Tax Cuts and the Value of the Firm: An Event Study," NBER Working Papers 11449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Korinek, Anton & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2009. "Dividend taxation and intertemporal tax arbitrage," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 142-159, February.
  12. 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.
  13. Raj Chetty & Emmanuel Saez, 2004. "Do Dividend Payments Respond to Taxes? Preliminary Evidence from the 2003 Dividend Tax Cut," NBER Working Papers 10572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Hartman, David G., 1985. "Tax policy and foreign direct investment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 107-121, February.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Dividends and taxation
    by Tyler Cowen in Marginal Revolution on 2012-02-13 16:20:34
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Cited by:
  1. Jaan Masso & Jaanika Meriküll & Priit Vahter, 2011. "Gross Profit Taxation Versus Distributed Profit Taxation And Firm Performance: Effects Of Estonia’S Corporate Income Tax Reform," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series 81, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
  2. Annette Alstadsæter & Erik Fjærli, 2009. "Neutral taxation of shareholder income? Corporate responses to an announced dividend tax," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 571-604, August.
  3. Seppo Kari & Jussi Laitila, 2012. "Non-linear dividend tax and dynamics of the firm," Working Papers 41, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  4. Jacob, Martin, 2010. "Taxation, Dividends, and Share Repurchases: Taking Evidence Global," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2010:10, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  5. Richard Blundell & Marco Francesconi & Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2011. "Anatomy of Welfare Reform Evaluation:Announcement and Implementation Effects," Economics Discussion Papers 698, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  6. Korkeamaki, Timo & Liljeblom, Eva & Pasternack, Daniel, 2010. "Tax reform and payout policy: Do shareholder clienteles or payout policy adjust?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 572-587, September.
  7. Anne Lauringson, 2011. "Unemployment Benefits In A Period Of Crisis: The Effect On Unemployment Duration," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series 82, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
  8. Jarkko Harju & Tuomas Matikka, 2013. "Entrepreneurs and income-shifting: Empirical evidence from a Finnish tax reform," Working Papers 43, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  9. Masso, Jaan & Meriküll, Jaanika & Vahter, Priit, 2013. "Shift from gross profit taxation to distributed profit taxation: Are there effects on firms?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 1092-1105.
  10. Seppo Kari & Jarkko Harju, 2011. "Dividend taxes and decisions of MNEs: Evidence from a Finnish tax reform," Working Papers 27, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  11. Annette Alstadsæter & Knut Reidar Wangen, 2008. "Corporations’ Choice of Tax Regime when Transition Costs are Small and Income Shifting Potential is Large," CESifo Working Paper Series 2392, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Jarkko Harju & Tuomas Matikka, 2013. "The elasticity of taxable income and income-shifting between tax bases: what is “real” and what is not?," Working Papers 1313, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  13. Annette Alstadsater & Knut Reidar Wangen, 2010. "Small Corporations' Income Shifting through Choice of Ownership Structure - a Norwegian Case," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 73-87, Autumn.

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