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Anticipating Tax Changes: 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 vexamine 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 in a statistically significant way. 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. JEL Classification: H25, H32

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Paper provided by Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT) in its series Discussion Papers with number 447.

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Date of creation: 02 Jul 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fer:dpaper:447
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  1. Jeffrey R. Brown & Nellie Liang & Scott Weisbenner, 2006. "Executive financial incentives and payout policy: firm responses to the 2003 dividend tax cut," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2006-14, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Seppo Kari & Hanna Karikallio, 2007. "Tax Treatment of Dividends and Capital Gains and the Dividend Decision Under Dual Income Tax," Discussion Papers 416, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  3. Anton Korinek & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2008. "Dividend Taxation and Intertemporal Tax Arbitrage," NBER Working Papers 13858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Robert A. Moffitt & Mark Wilhelm, 1998. "Taxation and the Labor Supply: Decisions of the Affluent," NBER Working Papers 6621, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Raj Chetty & Emmanuel Saez, 2005. "Dividend Taxes and Corporate Behavior: Evidence from the 2003 Dividend Tax Cut," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 791-833, August.
  8. 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.
  9. Roger Gordon & Martin Dietz, 2006. "Dividends and Taxes," NBER Working Papers 12292, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. Hartman, David G., 1985. "Tax policy and foreign direct investment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 107-121, February.
  12. Alan J. Auerbach, 1986. "Tax Reform and Adjustment Costs: The Impact on Investment and Market Value," NBER Working Papers 2103, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
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