Book-Tax Gap. An Income Horse Race
AbstractThis paper presents some stylised facts about the book-tax gap, i.e. the difference between book and taxable income, of Italian corporations. This divergence is a reflection of the usage of any tax shields and any applicable credits and rebates which, in turn, implies that the concept of taxable income is elusive. Moreover overlapping fiscal policies make harder, on the one hand, firms’ tax planning and, on the other hand, policymakers’ control on the effectiveness of their manoeuvres. As for the fiscal year 2000, evidence based on data drawn from the Diecofis database shows that, as expected (why pay more?), in Italy there is a widespread and active industry set up to enable taxpayers to identify and take advantage of particular tax effects. In that year 55,201 (16% of the) firms were able to report positive book profits and to indicate non positive taxable incomes. A less expected outcome shows that the “income race” may finish in a quite different way. More than half (57%) of the uneconomic companies, ends up with positive taxable incomes (83,449 in absolute terms). A disaggregated analysis highlights that this latter share is much more lower among southern corporations and large enterprises, especially in the construction and in the hotel/restaurant services sectors. Finally, it results that industries whose firms more often declare negative taxable incomes tend to display significantly higher shares of irregular workers, as well.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by EconWPA in its series Public Economics with number 0506009.
Date of creation: 13 Jun 2005
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Corporate income tax; tax avoidance; accounting;
Other versions of this item:
- G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
- M4 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Accounting
- K2 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ACC-2005-06-19 (Accounting & Auditing)
- NEP-ALL-2005-06-19 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAW-2005-06-19 (Law & Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Mills, Lillian F. & Plesko, George A., 2003. "Bridging the Reporting Gap: A Proposal for More Informative Reconciling of Book and Tax Income," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(4), pages 865-93, December .
- Plesko, George & Mills, Lillian, 2003. "Bridging the Reporting Gap: A Proposal for More Informative Reconciling of Book and Tax Income," Working papers 4289-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- Filippo Oropallo, 2004. "Enterprise Microsimulation Models And Data Challenges," Public Economics 0409005, EconWPA.
- Maurizio Bovi, 2007. "National accounts, fiscal rules and fiscal policy. Mind the hidden gaps," ISAE Working Papers 76, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY).
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