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Debt and taxes: Evidence from the real estate industry

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  • Barclay, Michael J.
  • Heitzman, Shane M.
  • Smith, Clifford W.

Abstract

Compelling empirical evidence documenting a material effect of corporate taxes on leverage decisions is limited, in part because of difficulties in constructing an effective proxy for the firm's tax benefit of debt. We examine leverage decisions across taxable and nontaxable real estate firms—firms for which we can measure the relative tax benefit of debt with little error. The tax hypothesis implies that for firms with similar asset portfolios, taxable firms should have more debt than their nontaxable counterparts. Consistent with this, leverage ratios of taxable real estate firms are higher than their nontaxable counterparts, but the magnitude of this difference is at most one-half of that implied by studies that employ simulated marginal tax rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Barclay, Michael J. & Heitzman, Shane M. & Smith, Clifford W., 2013. "Debt and taxes: Evidence from the real estate industry," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 74-93.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:20:y:2013:i:c:p:74-93
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2012.12.002
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    2. Peter Vaz da Fonseca & Michele Nascimento Juca, 2020. "The Influence of Taxes on Foreign Direct Investment: Systematic Literature Review and Bibliometric Analysis," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(2), pages 55-77.
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    4. Yunus Yasin Dogan & Chinmoy Ghosh & Milena Petrova, 2019. "On the Determinants of REIT Capital Structure: Evidence from around the World," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 59(2), pages 295-328, August.
    5. Valcacer, Santiago & José de Moura, Heber & Lopes , David & Amorim , Vinicius, 2017. "Capital structure management differences in Latin American and US firms after 2008 crisis," Journal of Economics, Finance and Administrative Science, Universidad ESAN, vol. 22(42), pages 51-74.
    6. Jin, Xiaoye, 2021. "Corporate tax aggressiveness and capital structure decisions: Evidence from China," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 94-111.
    7. Keasey, Kevin & Martinez, Beatriz & Pindado, Julio, 2015. "Young family firms: Financing decisions and the willingness to dilute control," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 47-63.
    8. Jamie Alcock & Eva Steiner, 2018. "Fundamental Drivers of Dependence in REIT Returns," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 57(1), pages 4-42, July.
    9. Kelvin Jui Keng Tan, 2017. "Why Do Overconfident REIT CEOs Issue More Debt? Mechanisms and Value Implications," Abacus, Accounting Foundation, University of Sydney, vol. 53(3), pages 319-348, September.
    10. Kodongo, Odongo & Mokoaleli-Mokoteli, Thabang & Maina, Leonard, 2014. "Capital structure, profitability and firm value: panel evidence of listed firms in Kenya," MPRA Paper 57116, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Doan, Trang & Nguyen, Nga Q., 2018. "Boards of directors and firm leverage: Evidence from real estate investment trusts," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 109-124.
    12. John, Kose & Knyazeva, Anzhela & Knyazeva, Diana, 2015. "Governance and Payout Precommitment," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 101-117.
    13. Peter Vaz da Fonseca & Michele Nascimento Juca & Wilson Toshiro Nakamura, 2020. "Debt Tax Benefits in a High Tax Emerging Market: Evidence from Brazil," International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), vol. 0(2), pages 35-52.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Capital structure; Taxes; Marginal tax rates; Organizational form;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • M40 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - General

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