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Profit Taxation and Finance Constraints

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  • Christian Keuschnigg

    ()

  • Evelyn Ribi

    ()

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. The impact of taxes changes fundamentally. Taxes reduce investment because they erode cash flow and, thereby, a firm's pledgeable income available for repayment to outside investors, and not because they reduce the user cost of capital. 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 cashflow tax which gives tax relief upfront.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen in its series University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2009 with number 2009-05.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2009:2009-05

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

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Marko Köthenbürger & Michael Stimmelmayr, 2009. "Corporate Taxation and Corporate Governance," CESifo Working Paper Series 2881, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Henrekson, Magnus & Sanandaji, Tino, 2008. "Entrepreneurship and the Theory of Taxation," Working Paper Series 732, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 19 Aug 2009.
  3. Ruud Mooij & Michael Devereux, 2011. "An applied analysis of ACE and CBIT reforms in the EU," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 93-120, February.
  4. 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.
  5. Edgerton, Jesse, 2010. "Investment incentives and corporate tax asymmetries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 936-952, December.
  6. Andreas Haufler & Marco Runkel, 2008. "Firms’ Financial Choices and Thin Capitalization Rules under Corporate Tax Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 2429, CESifo Group Munich.

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