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Taxation And The Financial Sector

  • Shackelford, Douglas A.
  • Shaviro, Daniel N.
  • Slemrod, Joel

In the aftermath of the recent financial crisis, a variety of taxes on financial institutions have been proposed or enacted. The justifications for these taxes range from punishing those deemed to have caused or unduly profited from the crisis, toaddressing the budgetary costs of the crisis, to better aligning banks’ and bank executives’ incentives in light of the broader social costs and benefits of their actions. Although there is a long-standing literature on corrective, or Pigouvian, taxation, most of it has been applied to environmental externalities, and the externalities that arise from the actions of financial institutions are structurally different. This paper reviews the justifications for special taxes on financial institutions, and addresses what kinds of taxes are most likely to achieve the various stated objectives, which often are in conflict. It then critically assesses the principal taxes that have been proposed or enacted to date: financial transactions taxes, bonus taxes, and taxes on firms in the financial sector based on size, bank liabilities, or excess profits.

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Article provided by National Tax Association in its journal National Tax Journal.

Volume (Year): 63 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 781-806

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Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:63:y:2010:i:4:p:781-806
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  1. Graham, John R. & Raedy, Jana S. & Shackelford, Douglas A., 2012. "Research in accounting for income taxes," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 412-434.
  2. Hemmelgarn, Thomas & Nicodème, Gaëtan, 2010. "The 2008 Financial Crisis and Taxation Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 7666, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Louis Kaplow & Steven Shavell, 2002. "On the Superiority of Corrective Taxes to Quantity Regulation," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 1-17, January.
  4. Duarte, Jefferson & Longstaff, Francis A. & Yu, Fan, 2005. "Risk and Return in Fixed Income Arbitage: Nickels in Front of a Steamroller?," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt6zx6m7fp, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
  5. Slemrod, Joel, 2009. "Lessons for Tax Policy in the Great Recession," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 62(3), pages 387-97, September.
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