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Tax Asymmetries and Corporate Income Tax Reform

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  • Saman Majd
  • Stewart C. Myers

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of tax asymmetries (the lack of full loss offsets) under current corporate income tax law and a stylized tax reform proposal. The government's tax claim on the firm's pretax cash flows is modelled as a series of path-dependent call options and valued by option pricing procedures and Monte Carlo simulation.The tax reform investigated reduces the statutory tax rate, eliminates the investment tax credit and sets tax depreciation approximately equal to economic depreciation. These changes would increase the effective tax rate on marginal investments by firms that always pay taxes, but dramatically reduce the potential burden of tax asymmetries. "Stand-alone" investments, which are exposed to the greatest burden, are uniformly more valuable under this reform, despite the loss of the investment tax credit and accelerated depreciation.These general results are backed up by a series of numerical experiments. We vary investment risk, inflation (with and without indexing of tax depreciation), and investigate how allowing interest on loss carry forwards would affect after-tax project value.

Suggested Citation

  • Saman Majd & Stewart C. Myers, 1986. "Tax Asymmetries and Corporate Income Tax Reform," NBER Working Papers 1924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1924
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Myers, Stewart C & Turnbull, Stuart M, 1977. "Capital Budgeting and the Capital Asset Pricing Model: Good News and Bad News," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 321-333, May.
    2. Robert C. Merton, 2005. "Theory of rational option pricing," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Theory Of Valuation, chapter 8, pages 229-288 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Cox, John C. & Ross, Stephen A., 1976. "The valuation of options for alternative stochastic processes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 145-166.
    4. Cooper, Ian & Franks, Julian R, 1983. " The Interaction of Financing and Investment Decisions When the Firm Has Unused Tax Credits," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(2), pages 571-583, May.
    5. Cordes, Joseph J & Sheffrin, Steven M, 1983. " Estimating the Tax Advantage of Corporate Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(1), pages 95-105, March.
    6. Alan J. Auerbach & James M. Poterba, 1987. "Tax Loss Carryforwards and Corporate Tax Incentives," NBER Chapters,in: The Effects of Taxation on Capital Accumulation, pages 305-342 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Fama, Eugene F., 1977. "Risk-adjusted discount rates and capital budgeting under uncertainty," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 3-24, August.
    8. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-654, May-June.
    9. Smith, Clifford W. & Stulz, René M., 1985. "The Determinants of Firms' Hedging Policies," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(04), pages 391-405, December.
    10. Saman Majd & Stewart C. Myers, 1985. "Valuing the Government's Tax Claim on Risky Corporate Assets," NBER Working Papers 1553, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Myers, Stewart C & Dill, David A & Bautista, Alberto J, 1976. "Valuation of Financial Lease Contracts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 31(3), pages 799-819, June.
    12. Cox, John C. & Ross, Stephen A. & Rubinstein, Mark, 1979. "Option pricing: A simplified approach," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 229-263, September.
    13. Boyle, Phelim P., 1977. "Options: A Monte Carlo approach," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 323-338, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Caren Sureth & Ralf Maiterth, "undated". "Wealth Tax As Alternative Minimum Tax ? - the Impact of Minimum Taxation on Business Structure and Strategy -," EcoMod2006 272100093, EcoMod.
    2. Ralf Ewert & Rainer Niemann, 2010. "Limited Liability, Asymmetric Taxation, and Risk Taking - Why Partial Tax Neutralities can be Harmful," CESifo Working Paper Series 3301, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Crabbé, Philippe, 1990. "Commentaire," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 66(4), pages 441-443, décembre.
    4. John Creedy & Norman Gemmell, 2011. "Corporation tax asymmetries: effective tax rates and profit shifting," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 18(4), pages 422-435, August.
    5. Glaser, Markus & Müller, Sebastian, 2006. "Der Diversification Discount in Deutschland: Existiert ein Bewertungsabschlag für diversifizierte Unternehmen?," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 06-13, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    6. John Creedy & Norman Gemmell, 2010. "Modelling Corporation Tax Revenue," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 13695.
    7. Rainer Niemann, 2011. "Asymmetric Taxation and Performance-Based Incentive Contracts," CESifo Working Paper Series 3363, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Glaser, Markus & Müller, Sebastian, 2006. "Der Diversification Discount in Deutschland : existiert ein Bewertungsabschlag für diversifizierte Unternehmen?," Papers 06-13, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.

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