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Corporation Tax Revenue Growth in the UK:A Microsimulation Analysis

  • John Creedy
  • Norman Gemmell

This paper examines the built-in flexibility properties — as measured by the elasticity of revenue with respect to profits — of the UK corporation tax system. Emphasis is placed on determining some of the major influences on the extent to which total corporation tax revenue changes when profits change over the economic cycle. A microsimulation model, CorpSim, is constructed and used to obtain numerical results. In the model, corporations use group relief, capital allowances and losses in a tax-minimising manner. The growth of aggregate corporation tax revenue in practice in the UK appears to be highly volatile in relation to the growth of profits. High volatility in revenue elasticities is found to be especially associated with economic downturns. In mild economic downturns, corporation tax revenue elasticities may rise (because tax growth falls less than profit growth), but in more severe downturns, large but temporary decreases in revenue elasticities (and even negative elasticities) can be expected.

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Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 984.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:984
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. John Creedy & Norman Gemmell, 2003. "The Revenue Responsiveness of Income and Consumption Taxes in the UK," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 71(6), pages 641-658, December.
  2. John Creedy & Norman Gemmell, 2007. "Corporation Tax Buoyancy and Revenue Elasticity in the UK," Working Papers 0712, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  3. John Creedy & Norman Gemmell, 2007. "Corporation Tax Revenue Growth in the UK: A Microsimulation Analysis," Working Papers 0713, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  4. Auerbach, Alan J, 1986. "The Dynamic Effects of Tax Law Asymmetries," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(2), pages 205-25, April.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
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