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Anticipating Tax Change: Evidence from the Finnish Corporate Income Tax Reform of 2005

  • Seppo Kari
  • Hanna Karikallio
  • Jukka Pirttilä

Using register-based panel data covering all Finnish firms in 1999-2004, we examine how corporations anticipated the 2005 dividend tax increase via changes in their dividend and investment policies. The Finnish capital and corporate income tax reform of 2005 creates a useful opportunity to measure this behaviour, since it involves exogenous variation in the tax treatment of different types of firms. The estimation results reveal that those firms that anticipated a dividend tax hike increased their dividend payouts by 10-50 per cent. This increase was not accompanied by a reduction in investment activities, but rather was associated with increased indebtedness in non-listed firms. The results also suggest that the timing of dividend distributions probably offsets much of the potential for increased dividend tax revenue following the reform.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2008/wp-cesifo-2008-01/cesifo1_wp2201.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2201.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2201
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  1. Hartman, David G., 1985. "Tax policy and foreign direct investment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 107-121, February.
  2. Raj Chetty & Emmanuel Saez, 2004. "Do Dividend Payments Respond to Taxes? Preliminary Evidence from the 2003 Dividend Tax Cut," NBER Working Papers 10572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Steve Bond & Michael Devereux & Alexander Klemm, 2005. "Dissecting dividend decisions: some clues about the effects of dividend taxation from recent UK reforms," IFS Working Papers W05/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Alvarez JR, Luis & Kanniainen, Vesa & Södersten, Jan, 2000. "Why is the Corporation Tax Not Neutral? Anticipated Tax Reform, Investment Spurts and Corporate Borrowing," Working Paper Series 2000:4, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  5. Seppo Kari & Hanna Karikallio, 2007. "Tax treatment of dividends and capital gains and the dividend decision under dual income tax," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 427-456, August.
  6. Anton Korinek & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2008. "Dividend Taxation and Intertemporal Tax Arbitrage," NBER Working Papers 13858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Robert A Moffitt & Mark Wilhelm, 2000. "Taxation and the Labor Supply - Decisions of the Affluent," Economics Working Paper Archive 414, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  8. Chetty, Raj & Saez, Emmanuel, 2004. "Dividend Taxes and Corporate Behaviour: Evidence from the 2003 Dividend Tax Cut," CEPR Discussion Papers 4722, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Roger Gordon & Martin Dietz, 2006. "Dividends and Taxes," NBER Working Papers 12292, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Tobias Lindhe & Jan Södersten & Ann �berg, 2004. "Economic Effects of Taxing Different Organizational Forms under the Nordic Dual Income Tax," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 469-485, 08.
  11. Jeffrey R. Brown & Nellie Liang & Scott Weisbenner, 2004. "Executive Financial Incentives and Payout Policy: Firm Responses to the 2003 Dividend Tax Cut," NBER Working Papers 11002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Casey, K Mike, et al, 1999. "Examining the Impact of the 1986 Tax Reform Act on Corporate Dividend Policy: A New Methodology," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 34(3), pages 33-46, August.
  13. Auerbach, Alan J, 1989. "Tax Reform and Adjustment Costs: The Impact on Investment and Market Value," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(4), pages 939-62, November.
  14. Alan J. Auerbach & Kevin A. Hassett, 2005. "The 2003 Dividend Tax Cuts and the Value of the Firm: An Event Study," NBER Working Papers 11449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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