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The response of firms to eligibility thresholds: Evidence from the Japanese value-added tax

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  • Onji, Kazuki

Abstract

It is common to define benefit eligibility for small business policies by restrictions on the firm size. This paper documents the effects of the value-added tax (VAT) threshold in Japan, focusing on the incentives for a large firm to "masquerade" as many small firms by separately incorporating business segments. A comparison of the corporate size distributions before and after the VAT introduction of 1989 shows a clustering of corporations just below the threshold--a pattern that is attributable to the behavioral responses. To rule out the confounding influences of the changes in the company attributes over the years, we applied a semiparametric density decomposition technique developed by DiNardo, Fortin, and Lemieux (DiNardo J., Fortin N.M., Lemieux T., Labor market institutions and the distribution of wages, 1973-1992: a semiparametric approach. Econometrica 1996; 64; 1001-1044). This study suggests that the masquerading behavior by firms may be commonplace in other settings.

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  • Onji, Kazuki, 2009. "The response of firms to eligibility thresholds: Evidence from the Japanese value-added tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 766-775, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:93:y:2009:i:5-6:p:766-775
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    Cited by:

    1. Christian EBEKE & Mario MANSOUR & Grégoire ROTA-GRAZIOSI, 2016. "The Power to Tax in Sub-Saharan Africa: LTUs, VATs, and SARAs," Working Papers P154, FERDI.
    2. repec:eee:chieco:v:46:y:2017:i:s:p:s17-s34 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Onji, Kazuki, 2009. "The response of firms to eligibility thresholds: Evidence from the Japanese value-added tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 766-775, June.
    4. Jonathan Goyette, 2012. "Optimal tax threshold: the consequences on efficiency of official vs. effective enforcement," Cahiers de recherche 12-07, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
    5. Paul E. Carrillo & M. Shahe Emran & Anita Rivadeneira, 2011. "Do Cheaters Bunch Together? Profit Taxes, Withholding Rates and Tax Evasion," Working Papers 2011-03, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    6. HOSONO Kaoru & HOTEI Masaki & MIYAKAWA Daisuke, 2017. "Tax Avoidance by Capital Reduction: Evidence from corporate tax reform in Japan," Discussion papers 17050, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    7. K.V. Ramaswamy, 2016. "Size dependent tax incentives, threshold effects and horizontal subcontracting in Indian manufacturing: Evidence from factory and firm-level panel data sets," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2016-007, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    8. Antonis Adam & Panos Hatzipanayotou & Thomas Moutos, 2015. "Labour Market Regulation, Fiscal Consolidation, and the Success of Current Account Adjustments," DEOS Working Papers 1517, Athens University of Economics and Business.
    9. Onji Kazuki & Vera David, 2010. "Tax Law Asymmetries and Income Shifting: Evidence from Japanese Capital Keiretsu," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-35, January.
    10. Onji, Kazuki, 2014. "The efficiency consequence of a political compromise in the Japanese tax reform of 1989," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 54-64.
    11. Almunia, Miguel & Lopez-Rodriguez, David, 2015. "Under the Radar: The Effects of Monitoring Firms on Tax Compliance," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 245, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    12. Casey Mulligan, 2015. "Fiscal policies and the prices of labor: a comparison of the U.K. and U.S," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-27, December.
    13. Bergner, Sören Martin & Bräutigam, Rainer & Evers, Maria Theresia & Spengel, Christoph, 2017. "The use of SME tax incentives in the European Union," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-006, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    14. Pranesh Debnath, 2016. "Implementation of Goods and Service Tax (GST) in India and its Control over the Tax Collection," Journal of Commerce and Trade, Society for Advanced Management Studies, vol. 11(1), pages 28-35, April.
    15. Ravi Kanbur & Michael Keen, 2014. "Thresholds, informality, and partitions of compliance," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(4), pages 536-559, August.
    16. Li Liu & Benjamin Lockwood, 2015. "VAT Notches," CESifo Working Paper Series 5371, CESifo Group Munich.
    17. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Benjamin A. Olken, 2014. "The Missing "Missing Middle"," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(3), pages 89-108, Summer.
    18. Asatryan, Zareh & Peichl, Andreas, 2016. "Responses of firms to tax, administrative and accounting rules: Evidence from Armenia," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-065, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    19. Miriam Bruhn & Jan Loeprick, 2016. "Small business tax policy and informality: evidence from Georgia," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(5), pages 834-853, October.
    20. Miguel Almunia & David López-Rodríguez, 2014. "Heterogeneous responses to effective tax enforcement: evidence from Spanish firms," Working Papers 1419, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    21. Rauhanen, Timo & Harju, Jarkko & Matikka, Tuomas, 2016. "The effects of size-based regulation on small firms: evidence from VAT threshold," Working Papers 75, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    22. Claudio Agostini & Eduardo Engel & Andrea Repetto & Damian Vergara, 2017. "Individual Tax Planning and Small Business Creation: Evidence on the Impact of Special Tax Regimes in Chile," Working Papers wp_054, Adolfo Ibáñez University, School of Government.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    H32 H25 L22 Tax avoidance Business group Value-added tax Firm size distribution;

    JEL classification:

    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure

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