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Investment, accounting, and the salience of the corporate income tax

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  • Jesse Edgerton

    () (Federal Reserve Board)

Abstract

This paper develops and tests the hypothesis that accounting rules mitigate the effect of tax policy on firm investment decisions by obscuring the timing of tax pay-ments. I model a firm that maximises a discounted weighted average of after-tax cash flows and accounting profits. I estimate the weight placed on accounting profits by comparing the effectiveness of tax incentives that do and do not affect them. Investment tax credits, which do affect accounting profits, have larger effects on investment than accelerated depreciation, which does not. This difference in estimated effects is not obviously driven by discounting, cash flow effects, or measurement error. Results thus suggest that accelerated depreciation provisions are less effective than they otherwise would be and that the corporate income tax could create smaller distortions to investment decisions than we would otherwise estimate.

Suggested Citation

  • Jesse Edgerton, 2012. "Investment, accounting, and the salience of the corporate income tax," Working Papers 1230, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  • Handle: RePEc:btx:wpaper:1230
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    File URL: http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/Business_Taxation/Docs/WP1230.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Timothy Erickson & Toni M. Whited, 2000. "Measurement Error and the Relationship between Investment and q," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 1027-1057, October.
    2. Jason G. Cummins & Kevin A. Hassett & Stephen D. Oliner, 2006. "Investment Behavior, Observable Expectations, and Internal Funds," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 796-810, June.
    3. Desai, Mihir A. & Dyck, Alexander & Zingales, Luigi, 2007. "Theft and taxes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 591-623, June.
    4. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
    5. Edgerton, Jesse, 2010. "Investment incentives and corporate tax asymmetries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 936-952, December.
    6. Keating, A. Scott & L. Zimmerman, Jerold, 1999. "Depreciation-policy changes: tax, earnings management, and investment opportunity incentives," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 359-389, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Sebastian Eichfelder & Kerstin Schneider, 2014. "Tax Incentives and Business Investment: Evidence from German Bonus Depreciation," CESifo Working Paper Series 4805, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Cristian Carini & Michele Moretto & Paolo Panteghini & Sergio Vergalli, 2018. "Deferred Taxation under Default Risk," CESifo Working Paper Series 7057, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Becker, Johannes & Steinhoff, Melanie, 2014. "Tax accounting principles and corporate risk-taking," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 125(1), pages 79-81.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Investment; taxes; bonus depreciation; expensing; accounting; salience.;

    JEL classification:

    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting

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