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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 from 1999 to 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 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. Copyright (c) 2008 The Authors Journal compilation (c) Institute for Fiscal Studies, 2008.

Suggested Citation

  • Seppo Kari & Hanna Karikallio & Jukka Pirttilä, 2008. "Anticipating Tax Changes: Evidence from the Finnish Corporate Income Tax Reform of 2005," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 29(2), pages 167-196, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:29:y:2008:i:2:p:167-196
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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).
    3. Blundell, Richard & Francesconi, Marco & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2011. "Anatomy of Welfare Reform Evaluation: Announcement and Implementation Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 6050, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Seppo Kari & Jussi Laitila, 2015. "Nonlinear Dividend Tax and the Dynamics of the Firm," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 71(2), pages 153-177, June.
    5. Jaan Masso & Jaanika Merikull & Priit Vahter, 2011. "Gross profit taxation versus distributed profit taxation and firm perfomance : effects of Estonia,s corporate income tax reform," Bank of Estonia Working Papers wp2011-02, Bank of Estonia, revised 27 Apr 2011.
    6. Jarkko Harju & Tuomas Matikka, 2016. "Business owners and income-shifting: evidence from Finland," Small Business Economics, Springer, pages 115-136.
    7. Annette Alstadsæter & Erik Fjærli, 2009. "Neutral taxation of shareholder income? Corporate responses to an announced dividend tax," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 16(4), pages 571-604, August.
    8. 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.
    9. Harju, Jarkko & Matikka, Tuomas, 2013. "Entrepreneurs and income-shifting: Empirical evidence from a Finnish tax reform," Working Papers 43, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Jarkko Harju & Seppo Kari, 2017. "Dividend Taxes and Decisions of MNEs: Evidence from a Finnish Tax Reform," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 63(1), pages 45-77.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. Jarkko Harju & Tuomas Matikka, 2014. "Business Owners and Income-Shifting between Tax Bases: Empirical Evidence from a Finnish Tax Reform," CESifo Working Paper Series 5090, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm

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