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Neutral Taxation of Shareholder Income? Corporate Responses to an Announced Dividend Tax

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  • Annette Alstadsæter
  • Erik Fjaerli

Abstract

The introduction of the 2006 Norwegian shareholder income tax was announced in advance, and it increased top marginal tax rates on individual dividend income from zero to 28 percent. We document strong timing effects on dividend payout on a large panel of non-listed corporations, with a surge of dividends prior to 2006 and a sharp drop after. Mature firms are more likely to pay dividends, and high asset growth increases the probability of retaining all earnings. Intertemporal income shifting through the timing of dividends seems to be a drain on internal equity and cause increases in the corporations’ debt-equity ratios. The debt ratios drop sharply after the implementation of the reform.

Suggested Citation

  • Annette Alstadsæter & Erik Fjaerli, 2009. "Neutral Taxation of Shareholder Income? Corporate Responses to an Announced Dividend Tax," CESifo Working Paper Series 2530, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2530
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    Cited by:

    1. Saez, Emmanuel & Stantcheva, Stefanie, 2018. "A simpler theory of optimal capital taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 120-142.
    2. Alstadsaeter, Annette & Jacob, Martin & Kopczuk, Wojciech & Telle, Kjetil, 2016. "Accounting for Business Income in Measuring Top Income Shares: Integrated Accrual Approach Using Individual and Firm Data from Norway," CEPR Discussion Papers 11671, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Seppo Kari & Jussi Laitila, 2015. "Nonlinear Dividend Tax and the Dynamics of the Firm," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 71(2), pages 153-177, June.
    4. Ji, Philip Inyeob, 2016. "Is corporate payout taxation a long run phenomenon? Evidence from international data," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 84-100.
    5. Seppo Kari & Hanna Karikallio & Jukka Pirttilä, 2009. "The Impact of Dividend Taxation on Dividends and Investment: New Evidence Based on a Natural Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 2756, CESifo.
    6. Chris Edson, 2012. "The capital constraining effects of the norwegian wealth tax," Discussion Papers 724, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    7. Jolana Stejskalova, 2016. "Impact of the information on tax burden on the stock market," MENDELU Working Papers in Business and Economics 2016-62, Mendel University in Brno, Faculty of Business and Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    neutral dividend tax; dual income tax; intertemporal income shifting; anticipation effects; corporate financial policy; transition;

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G35 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Payout Policy
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies

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