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Behavioural Responses to Corporate Profit Taxation

  • John Creedy
  • Norman Gemmell

This paper examines behavioural responses by companies to changes in profit taxation in their home country. The elasticity of tax revenue with respect to changes in the corparation tax rate are decomposed into a variety of responses. As well as distinguishing real from profitshifting responses, it is important to separate the responses of gross profits from those of deductions (such as claims for past or current losses) where these are endogenously related to gross profits declared at home. This endogenous response can be expected to differ over the business cycle, which can be important for empirical estimates of aggregate behavioural responses especially, but not exclusively, during cyclical downturns. It is suggested that the revenue elasticity can be expected to be asymmetrical between periods of above- and belowtrend growth, arising from the asymmetric treatment of losses by the tax function.

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Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 1029.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:1029
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne, 4th Floor, FBE Building, Level 4, 111 Barry Street. Victoria, 3010, Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 5355
Fax: +61 3 8344 6899
Web page: http://www.economics.unimelb.edu.au
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  1. Kimberly Clausing, 2007. "Corporate tax revenues in OECD countries," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 115-133, April.
  2. Harry Grubert & Joel Slemrod, 1998. "The Effect Of Taxes On Investment And Income Shifting To Puerto Rico," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 365-373, August.
  3. Gruber, Jon & Saez, Emmanuel, 2002. "The elasticity of taxable income: evidence and implications," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-32, April.
  4. Michael Devereux & Rachel Griffith & Alexander Klemm, 2004. "How has the UK corporation tax raised so much revenue?," IFS Working Papers W04/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. Bartelsman, Eric J & Beetsma, Roel, 2000. "Why Pay More? Corporate Tax Avoidance Through Transfer Pricing in OECD Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 2543, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Hines, J.R. & Rice, E.M., 1990. "Fiscal Paradise: Foreign Tax Havens And American Business," Papers 56, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  7. Creedy, John & Gemmell, Norman, 2008. "Corporation tax buoyancy and revenue elasticity in the UK," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 24-37, January.
  8. Alan J. Auerbach, 1983. "The Dynamic Effects of Tax Law Asymmetries," NBER Working Papers 1152, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Emmanuel Saez & Joel B. Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2009. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," NBER Working Papers 15012, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Martin Feldstein, 1993. "The Effect of Marginal Tax Rates on Taxable Income: A Panel Study of the1986 Tax Reform Act," NBER Working Papers 4496, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Michael P. Devereux & Alexander Klemm, 2003. "Measuring Taxes on Income from Capital: Evidence from the UK," CESifo Working Paper Series 968, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Joel Slemrod & Shlomo Yitzhaki, 2000. "Tax Avoidance, Evasion, and Administration," NBER Working Papers 7473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Martin Feldstein & James R. Hines Jr. & R. Glenn Hubbard, 1995. "The Effects of Taxation on Multinational Corporations," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feld95-2, December.
  14. Devereux, Michael P, 1989. "Tax Asymmetries, the Cost of Capital and Investment: Some Evidence from United Kingdom Panel Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(395), pages 103-12, Supplemen.
  15. Altshuler, Rosanne & Auerbach, Alan J, 1990. "The Significance of Tax Law Asymmetries: An Empirical Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 61-86, February.
  16. Cooper, Michael & Knittel, Matthew, 2006. "Partial Loss Refundability: How Are Corporate Tax Losses Used?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 59(3), pages 651-63, September.
  17. Feldstein, Martin, 1995. "Effect of Marginal Tax Rates on Taxable Income: A Panel Study of the 1986 Tax Reform Act," Scholarly Articles 2766676, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  18. Huizinga, Harry & Laeven, Luc, 2007. "International Profit Shifting within European Multinationals," CEPR Discussion Papers 6048, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Grubert, Harry, 2003. "Intangible Income, Intercompany Transactions, Income Shifting, and the Choice of Location," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(1), pages 221-42, March.
  20. Devereux, Michael P & Hubbard, R Glenn, 2003. "Taxing Multinationals," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 469-87, August.
  21. J. Barkley Rosser, 2009. "Introduction," Chapters, in: Handbook of Research on Complexity, chapter 1 Edward Elgar.
  22. Thomas A. Gresik, 2001. "The Taxing Task of Taxing Transnationals," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 800-838, September.
  23. Hines, James R. Jr., 1999. "Lessons from Behavioral Responses to International Taxation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 305-22, June.
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