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Classical Corporation Tax as a Global Means of Tax Harmonization


  • Kari, Seppo
  • Ylä-Liedenpohja, Jouko


Classical corporation tax entails double taxation of corporate income. The alternative practice of imputing corporation tax to the domestic recipients of dividends is shown, in the case of a company with international owners, to effectively convert the imputation system back to a classical corporation tax. It also requires complex rules for exempting flow-through dividends from equalization tax to avoid the cumulation of corporation tax internationally. In contrast, classical corporation tax maintains its simplicity and can be designed so as to be neutral in respect of the financing and dividend decisions of multinationals, by adopting double taxation of interest income. Broad tax bases, flat-rate taxes on personal income from capital, and low statutory tax rates are advocated as general policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Kari, Seppo & Ylä-Liedenpohja, Jouko, 2002. "Classical Corporation Tax as a Global Means of Tax Harmonization," Discussion Papers 266, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:fer:dpaper:266

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Auerbach, Alan J, 1983. "Taxation, Corporate Financial Policy and the Cost of Capital," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 905-940, September.
    2. Arnold C. Harberger, 1962. "The Incidence of the Corporation Income Tax," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 215-215.
    3. Sijbren Cnossen, 1996. "Company Taxes in the European Union: Criteria and Options for Reform," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 17(4), pages 67-97, November.
    4. Boadway, Robin & Bruce, Neil, 1992. "Problems with integrating corporate and personal income taxes in an open economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 39-66, June.
    5. Clemens Fuest & Bernd Huber, 2000. "The Optimal Taxation of Dividends in a Small Open Economy," CESifo Working Paper Series 348, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Mervyn A. King, 1974. "Taxation and the Cost of Capital," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(1), pages 21-35.
    7. P Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 1993. "Intergration," CEP Discussion Papers dp0172, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    8. Hartman, David G., 1985. "Tax policy and foreign direct investment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 107-121, February.
    9. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1984. "Die Bedeutung des Accelerated Cost Recovery System fur den internationalen Kapitalverkehr. (The Significance of the Accelerated Cost Recovery System for International Capital Movements. With English s," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(4), pages 542-576.
    10. Sorjonen, Pasi, . "Essays on Dividends and Taxes," ETLA A, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy, number 30, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Seppo Kari & Jouko Ylä-Liedenpohja, 2004. "Cost of Capital for Cross-Border Investment: The Fallacy of Estonia as a Tax Haven," Baltic Journal of Economics, Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies, vol. 5(1), pages 28-43, December.
    2. Bhavish Jugurnath & Mark Stewart & Robert Brooks, 2008. "Dividend taxation and corporate investment: a comparative study between the classical system and imputation system of dividend taxation in the United States and Australia," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 209-224, August.
    3. Jouko Ylä-Liedenpohja, 2003. "Taxation and Valuation of International Real Investments," CESifo Working Paper Series 1013, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item


    International taxation; economic integration; multinational firm; International comparisons; Kansainväliset vertailut; Taxation; Verotus; Taxation and Social Transfers; Julkisen talouden rahoitus ja tulonsiirrot; G320 - Financing Policy; Capital and Ownership Structure; financial ratios; value of firm; G350 - Payout Policy; H250 - Business Taxes and Subsidies including sales and value-added (VAT);

    JEL classification:

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


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