Adjustment costs and the neutrality of income taxes
A true income tax would not affect asset values or investment decisions for given values of cash flows and pre-tax interest rates (Samuelson, 1964). However, most so-called income taxes do not fully tax capital gains on accrual. This note shows that in the absence of adjustment costs, investment decisions are not distorted by the lack of a comprehensive tax on the capital gains on unimproved land, provided that the depreciation of improvements is allowed as a tax deduction. It also provides the intuition underlying the closely related results of Hartman (1978) and Abel (1983).
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- Paul A. Samuelson, 1964. "Tax Deductibility of Economic Depreciation to Insure Invariant Valuations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 604.
- Green, Jerry & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1978.
"Optimal Capital-Gains Taxation Under Limited Information,"
3210340, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Green, Jerry R & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1978. "Optimal Capital-Gains Taxation under Limited Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 1143-58, December.
- Hartman, Richard, 1978. "Investment Neutrality of Business Income Taxes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 245-60, May.
- Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Tax Neutrality in the Presence of Adjustment Costs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 705-12, November.
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