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Impact of Tax Rate Cut Cum Base Broadening Reforms on Heterogeneous Firms – Learning from the German Tax Reform 2008

  • Katharina Finke

    ()

    (Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW))

  • Jost H. Heckemeyer

    ()

    (Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW))

  • Timo Reister

    (Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW),)

  • Christoph Spengel

    ()

    (University of Mannheim)

The German corporate tax reform of 2008 has brought about important cuts in corporate tax rates, which were at the same time accompanied by significant changes in the determination of the tax base for both major German corporate taxes - corporate income tax and trade tax. The reform followed the distinct and internationally prevalent pattern of tax rate cut cum base broadening. Its implications are thus not unique to Germany. Especially in view of the current economic crisis, questions on the distribution of the tax burden among firms of different characteristics have arisen and still remain at the heart of the academic and political debate in Germany and other countries. In this paper we present a new corporate microsimulation model, ZEW TaxCoMM, which allows for the coherent micro-based analysis of revenue implications of tax reforms and the distribution of tax consequences among heterogeneous firms. The model processes firm-level financial accounting input data and derives the firm specific tax base and tax due endogenously in accordance with the tax code. To smooth out distortions between the sample and the population of German corporations, the sample is extrapolated on the basis of the corporate income tax statistic. The simulation results show inter alia that less than 5% of all corporations did not benefit from the reform. The average annual relief as measured by the average decline in the effective tax burden on cash flows amounts to 2.8 percentage points for large corporations and to 6 percentage points for small corporations. Furthermore, the results illustrate that firms with low profitability, high debt ratio and high capital intensity benefit least from the reform. As to tax revenues, the reform induced decrease amounts to € 9.8 billion and the trade tax gains fiscally in importance.

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Paper provided by Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation in its series Working Papers with number 1005.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:btx:wpaper:1005
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  1. Stefan Bach & Hermann Buslei & Nadja Dwenger & Frank Fossen, 2008. "Dokumentation des Mikrosimulationsmodells BizTax zur Unternehmensbesteuerung in Deutschland," Data Documentation 29, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Radulescu, Doina & Stimmelmayr, Michael, 2010. "The impact of the 2008 German corporate tax reform: A dynamic CGE analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 454-467, January.
  3. Arntz, Melanie & Boeters, Stefan & Gürtzgen, Nicole & Schubert, Stefanie, 2006. "Analysing welfare reform in a microsimulation-AGE model: the value of disaggregation," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-76, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  4. Peichl, Andreas & Fuest, Clemens & Schaefer, Thilo, 2005. "Dokumentation FiFoSiM: Integriertes Steuer-Transfer-Mikrosimulations- und CGE-Modell," FiFo Discussion Papers - Finanzwissenschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 05-3, University of Cologne, FiFo Institute for Public Economics.
  5. Creedy, John, 2001. "Tax Modelling," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 77(237), pages 189-202, June.
  6. Filippo Oropallo & Valentino Parisi, 2007. "Will Italy’s Tax Reform Reduce the Corporate Tax Burden? A Microsimulation Analysis," Rivista di statistica ufficiale, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY), vol. 9(1), pages 31-58, march.
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