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How should financial intermediation services be taxed?

  • Ben Lockwood


    (CBT, CEPR and Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

This paper considers the optimal taxation of savings intermediation services in a dynamic general equilibrium setting, when the government can also use consumption, income and profit taxes. When 100% taxation of profit is available, taxes on services supplied to firms should be deductible from profit, implying the optimality of a VAT-type tax. As for the rate of tax, in the steady state, an optimal arrangement is to set it equal to the rate of tax on capital income, not consumption. In turn, the capital income tax is zero when the when an unrestricted profit tax is available, but in the more realistic case when such a tax is not available, this rate can be positive or negative, but generally different to the optimal rate of tax on consumption.

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Paper provided by Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation in its series Working Papers with number 1309.

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Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:btx:wpaper:1309
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  1. Isabel Correia & Pedro Teles, 1997. "The optimal inflation tax," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 123, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Bengt Holmstrom & Jean Tirole, 1997. "Financial Intermediation, Loanable Funds, and The Real Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 663-691.
  3. Kevin C. Murdock & Thomas F. Hellmann & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2000. "Liberalization, Moral Hazard in Banking, and Prudential Regulation: Are Capital Requirements Enough?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 147-165, March.
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  5. Mikhail Golosov & Narayana Kocherlakota & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2002. "Optimal Indirect and Capital Taxation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 391749000000000449, David K. Levine.
  6. Besanko, David & Kanatas, George, 1993. "Credit Market Equilibrium with Bank Monitoring and Moral Hazard," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 6(1), pages 213-32.
  7. Enrique G. Mendoza & Javier Bianchi, 2010. "Overborrowing, financial crises and ‘macro-prudential’ taxes," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Oct.
  8. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  9. Diamond, Douglas W & Dybvig, Philip H, 1983. "Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 401-19, June.
  10. Berger, Allen N & Udell, Gregory F, 1995. "Relationship Lending and Lines of Credit in Small Firm Finance," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68(3), pages 351-81, July.
  11. Christopher Phelan & Ennio Stacchetti, 2001. "Sequential Equilibria in a Ramsey Tax Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1491-1518, November.
  12. Correia, Isabel H., 1996. "Should capital income be taxed in the steady state?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 147-151, April.
  13. Diamond, Douglas W, 1991. "Monitoring and Reputation: The Choice between Bank Loans and Directly Placed Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 689-721, August.
  14. Poddar, Satya & English, Morley, 1997. "Taxation of Financial Services Under a Value-Added Tax: Applying the Cash-Flow Approach," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 50(1), pages 89-111, March.
  15. Faig, Miquel, 1988. "Characterization of the optimal tax on money when it functions as a medium of exchange," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 137-148, July.
  16. Jack, W., 1998. "The Treatment of Financial Services Under a Broad-Based Consumption Tax," CEPR Discussion Papers 394, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  17. Chia, Ngee-Choon & Whalley, John, 1999. "The Tax Treatment of Financial Intermediation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(4), pages 704-19, November.
  18. Andrew Atkeson & V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1999. "Taxing capital income: a bad idea," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 3-17.
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