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Tax Treatment of Dividends and Capital Gains and the Dividend Decision Under Dual Income Tax

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  • Kari, Seppo
  • Karikallio, Hanna

Abstract

The paper analyses efficiency aspects of a dual income tax system with a higher tax on capital gains than dividends. It argues that apart from the distortions to investments claimed in earlier literature, the system puts even more emphasis in creating incentives for entrepreneurs to participate in tax planning. The paper suggests that the owner of a closely held company can avoid all personal taxes on entrepreneurial income by two tax-planning strategies. The first is the avoidance of distributions, which would be taxed at the tax rate on labour income. These funds would instead be invested in the financial markets. The second strategy is a distribute-and-call-back policy, converting retained profits into new equity capital. Interestingly, the outcome is that investment in real capital is not distorted in the long-run equilibrium. Empirical evidence using micro data is also provided.

Suggested Citation

  • Kari, Seppo & Karikallio, Hanna, 2007. "Tax Treatment of Dividends and Capital Gains and the Dividend Decision Under Dual Income Tax," Discussion Papers 416, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:fer:dpaper:416
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    File URL: https://www.doria.fi/handle/10024/148402
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Annette Alstadsæter, 2003. "The Dual Income Tax and Firms' Income Shifting through the Choice of Organizational Form and Real Capital Investments," CESifo Working Paper Series 1018, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Raj Chetty & Emmanuel Saez, 2005. "Dividend Taxes and Corporate Behavior: Evidence from the 2003 Dividend Tax Cut," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 791-833.
    3. Vesa Kanniainen & Seppo Kari & Jouko Ylä-Liedenpohja, 2007. "Nordic dual income taxation of entrepreneurs," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(4), pages 407-426, August.
    4. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1991. "The vanishing harberger triangle," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 271-300, August.
    5. Peter Sørensen, 2005. "Neutral Taxation of Shareholder Income," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 12(6), pages 777-801, November.
    6. Cnossen, Sijbren (ed.), 2000. "Taxing Capital Income in the European Union: Issues and Options for Reform," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198297833.
    7. Kari, Seppo, 1999. "Dynamic Behaviour of the Firm Under Dual Income Taxation," Research Reports 51, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    8. Lindhe, Tobias & Södersten, Jan & Öberg, Ann, 2001. "Economic Effects of Taxing Closed Corporations under a Dual Income Tax," Working Paper Series 2001:16, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    9. Roger H. Gordon & Joel Slemrod, 1998. "Are "Real" Responses to Taxes Simply Income Shifting Between Corporate and Personal Tax Bases?," NBER Working Papers 6576, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Alan J. Auerbach, 1979. "Wealth Maximization and the Cost of Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(3), pages 433-446.
    11. Erik Fjaerli & Diderik Lund, 2001. "The choice between owner's wages and dividends under the dual income tax," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 104-119, Autumn.
    12. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    13. Roger Gordon & Martin Dietz, 2006. "Dividends and Taxes," NBER Working Papers 12292, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Vidar Christiansen, 2004. "Norwegian Income Tax Reforms," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 2(3), pages 09-14, October.
    15. Tobias Lindhe & Jan Södersten & Ann Öberg, 2004. "Economic Effects of Taxing Different Organizational Forms under the Nordic Dual Income Tax," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 11(4), pages 469-485, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Seppo Kari & Hanna Karikallio & Jukka Pirttilä, 2008. "Anticipating Tax Changes: Evidence from the Finnish Corporate Income Tax Reform of 2005," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 29(2), pages 167-196, June.
    2. Kari, Seppo & Ropponen, Olli, 2016. "A Note on the Effects of Income-Splitting under Dual Income Tax," Working Papers 81, VATT Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dual income tax; small business taxation; income shifting; Taxation; Verotus; Taxation and Social Transfers; Julkisen talouden rahoitus ja tulonsiirrot; H240 - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies; includes inheritance and gift taxes; H250 - Business Taxes and Subsidies including sales and value-added (VAT);

    JEL classification:

    • 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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