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The Impact of Personal and Corporate Taxation on Capital Structure Choices

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  • Michael Overesch
  • Dennis Voeller

Abstract

This paper empirically analyzes whether both personal and corporate taxation have an influence on companies´ capital structure decisions. We investigate the effect of the difference in taxation of debt and equity financing on capital structure. Our empirical results, based on a panel of European firm-level data, suggest that a higher tax benefit of debt has the expected significant positive effect on a company´s financial leverage. We find evidence that the capital structures of smaller companies respond more heavily to changes in the tax benefit of debt. Additional analysis confirms that, in particular, variation in capital income tax rates at the shareholder level implicates significant capital structure adjustments. Moreover, we find substitutive relationships between non-debt tax shields and the effect of the corporate tax rate on capital structure.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Overesch & Dennis Voeller, 2010. "The Impact of Personal and Corporate Taxation on Capital Structure Choices," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 66(3), pages 263-294, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(201009)66:3_263:tiopac_2.0.tx_2-x
    DOI: 10.1628/001522108X534853
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Huizinga, Harry & Laeven, Luc & Nicodeme, Gaetan, 2008. "Capital structure and international debt shifting," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 80-118, April.
    2. Fred Ramb & Alfons J. Weichenrieder, 2005. "Taxes and the Financial Structure of German Inward FDI," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 141(4), pages 670-692, December.
    3. Stefan Homburg, 2007. "Germany's Company Tax Reform Act of 2008," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 63(4), pages 591-612, December.
    4. Nijman, T.E. & Verbeek, M.J.C.M., 1992. "Testing for selectivity in panel data models," Other publications TiSEM 7ec34a6c-1d84-4052-971c-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    5. Fernandez, Pablo, 2004. "The value of tax shields is NOT equal to the present value of tax shields," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 145-165, July.
    6. Clemens Fuest & Alfons J. Weichenrieder, 2002. "Tax Competition and Profit Shifting: On the Relationship between Personal and Corporate Tax Rates," CESifo Working Paper Series 781, CESifo Group Munich.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Matthias Stöckl & Hannes Winner, "undated". "Capital Structure and Corporate Taxation. Empirical Evidence from European Panel Data," WIFO Working Papers 422, WIFO.
    2. Feld, Lars P. & Heckemeyer, Jost H. & Overesch, Michael, 2013. "Capital structure choice and company taxation: A meta-study," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 2850-2866.
    3. Haring, Magdalena & Niemann, Rainer & Rünger, Silke, 2016. "Investor taxation, firm heterogeneity and capital structure choice," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 210, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    4. Alberternst, Stephan & Schwar, Torben, 2015. "Relevanz der Zinsschranke: Eine empirische Untersuchung der betroffenen Unternehmen von 2008 bis 2012," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 200, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    5. Thomas Hemmelgarn & Daniel Teichmann, 2014. "Tax reforms and the capital structure of banks," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(4), pages 645-693, August.
    6. Frank M. Fossen & Martin Simmler, 2016. "Personal taxation of capital income and the financial leverage of firms," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(1), pages 48-81, February.
    7. Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der Gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung (ed.), 2015. "Zukunftsfähigkeit in den Mittelpunkt. Jahresgutachten 2015/16," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201516, April.
    8. Rechbauer, Martina, 2016. "Identifying firms' tax loss carry-forward status: The accuracy of database-ariven methods," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 201, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    9. Stöckl Matthias & Winner Hannes, 2013. "Körperschaftsbesteuerung und Unternehmensverschuldung: Evidenz aus einem Europäischen Firmenpanel / Capital Structure and Corporate Taxation: Empirical Evidence from European Panel Data," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 233(2), pages 188-205, April.
    10. Magdalena Haring & Rainer Niemann & Silke Rünger, 2016. "Investor Taxation, Firm Heterogeneity and Capital Structure Choice," CESifo Working Paper Series 6098, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    capital structure; corporate income tax; personal income tax; firm-level data;

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • 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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