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Dual Income Tax: Why and How?

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  • Peter Birch Sørensen

Abstract

The dual income tax combines a progressive tax schedule for labor income with a low flat tax rate on capital income and corporate income. This paper restates the case for the dual income tax and discusses alternative methods of taxing business income under such a tax system, paying special attention to the taxation of income from closely held corporations. It is argued that the imputed normal return to shares in unlisted companies should be taxed as capital income, while above-normal returns should be subject to the labor-income tax. The paper demonstrates that such a tax scheme can be designed to be neutral towards the firm's investment and financing decisions and towards the decisions of shareholders to realize their shares.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Birch Sørensen, 2006. "Dual Income Tax: Why and How?," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 61(4), pages 559-586, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(200602)61:4_559:ditwah_2.0.tx_2-a
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. W. J. Corlett & D. C. Hague, 1953. "Complementarity and the Excess Burden of Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 21-30.
    2. Wolfgang Eggert & Bernd Genser, 2005. "Dual Income Taxation in EU Member Countries," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 3(1), pages 41-47, 04.
    3. Auerbach, Alan J. & Bradford, David F., 2004. "Generalized cash-flow taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(5), pages 957-980, April.
    4. Boadway, Robin & Bruce, Neil, 1984. "A general proposition on the design of a neutral business tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 231-239, July.
    5. Boadway, Robin & Bruce, Neil, 1992. "Problems with integrating corporate and personal income taxes in an open economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 39-66, June.
    6. Bonds, Stephen R. & Devereux, Michael P., 1995. "On the design of a neutral business tax under uncertainty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 57-71, September.
    7. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
    8. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-622, May.
    9. Mikael Apel & Jan Södersten, 1999. "Personal Taxation and Investment Incentives in a Small Open Economy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 6(1), pages 79-88, February.
    10. Fane, G., 1987. "Neutral taxation under uncertainty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 95-105, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    dual income tax; tax neutrality; taxation of business income; shareholder income tax;

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies

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