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Tax bunching by owners of small corporations

Listed author(s):
  • Leon Bettendorf

    ()

  • Arjan Lejour

    ()

  • Maarten van 't Riet

    ()

In the Netherlands owners of small corporations face taxation of corporate, labour and capital income. Taxation of the latter may be deferred. We study their options for income shifting using bunching techniques. Based on individual tax records over the period 2007-2011 we report four main findings. The first is that the distribution of gross labour income strongly peaks at the legal 'minimum' level. Second, taxable labour income bunches at the cut-offs of the tax brackets. The elasticity of taxable income at the top tax cut-off ranges from 0.06 to 0.11. Third, we show that distributed profits strongly responded to the temporary tax cut from 25 to 22% in 2007, which doubled tax revenues on dividends. Fourth, using a Heckman selection model we find that the size of own equity has a positive effect on the probability of distributing profits and the size. We reconfirm the importance of intertemporal income shifting for business owners.

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Paper provided by CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis in its series CPB Discussion Paper with number 326.

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Date of creation: Mar 2016
Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:326
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  1. Nicole Bosch & Vincent Dekker & Kristina Strohmaier, 2016. "A Data-Driven Procedure to Determine the Bunching Window - An Application to the Netherlands," CPB Discussion Paper 336, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  2. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Tore Olsen & Luigi Pistaferri, 2011. "Adjustment Costs, Firm Responses, and Micro vs. Macro Labor Supply Elasticities: Evidence from Danish Tax Records," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 749-804.
  3. Sijbren Cnossen & Lans Bovenberg, 2001. "Fundamental Tax Reform in The Netherlands," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(4), pages 471-484, August.
  4. Jarkko Harju & Tuomas Matikka, 2016. "The elasticity of taxable income and income-shifting: what is “real” and what is not?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(4), pages 640-669, August.
  5. European Commission, 2014. "Taxation trends in the European Union: 2014 edition," Taxation trends 2014, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
  6. Bastani, Spencer & Selin, Håkan, 2014. "Bunching and non-bunching at kink points of the Swedish tax schedule," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 36-49.
  7. le Maire, Daniel & Schjerning, Bertel, 2013. "Tax bunching, income shifting and self-employment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 1-18.
  8. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
  9. European Commission, 2013. "Taxation trends in the European Union: 2013 edition," Taxation trends 2013, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
  10. Emmanuel Saez, 2010. "Do Taxpayers Bunch at Kink Points?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 180-212, August.
  11. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  12. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Esben Anton Schultz, 2014. "Estimating Taxable Income Responses Using Danish Tax Reforms," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 271-301, November.
  13. Gabriel Zucman, 2014. "Taxing across Borders: Tracking Personal Wealth and Corporate Profits," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 121-148, Fall.
  14. repec:kap:decono:v:165:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10645-017-9296-5 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Michael P. Devereux & Li Liu & Simon Loretz, 2014. "The Elasticity of Corporate Taxable Income: New Evidence from UK Tax Records," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 19-53, May.
  16. repec:ces:ifodic:v:2:y:2004:i:3:p:14567748 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Robin Boadway, 2004. "The Dual Income Tax System - An Overview," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 2(3), pages 03-08, October.
  18. Kleven, Henrik Jacobsen & Schultz, Esben Anton, 2014. "Estimating taxable income responses using Danish tax reforms," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 66122, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  19. repec:bla:scandj:v:118:y:2016:i:4:p:693-717 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Dekker, Vincent & Strohmaier, Kristina & Bosch, Nicole, 2016. "A data-driven procedure to determine the bunching window: An application to the Netherlands," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 05-2016, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
  21. Alstadsæter, Annette & Jacob, Martin, 2014. "Dividend taxes and income shifting," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 154, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
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