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Die relative Steuerlast mittelständischer Kapitalgesellschaften
[The relative tax burden of medium-sized corporations in Germany]


  • Gebhardt, Heinz
  • Siemers, Lars-H. R.


Statistical offices do not provide sufficiently disaggregated tax statistics for calculating the relative tax burden of SMEs. We estimate the respective average and median tax burden of small, medium-sized and big corporations in Germany for the period 1998 to 2007 using enterprises micro panel data by applying OLS and quantile regression techniques. We find that the average tax burden levied on profit over the ten years was about 24%, and thus lower than forward-looking techniques suggest. The majority of small corporations did bear a significantly lower burden than the residual bigger corporations. We also provide evidence that medium-sized corporations faced a significantly higher median tax burden than big corporation. This implies an inverse U-shaped trajectory of median tax burden with respect to size of enterprise. Presumably big corporations are internationally operating and hence have more opportunities to manipulate the tax base. Hence, medium-sized corporations seem to have been disadvantaged to big corporations within the German corporation tax. Finally, the size of tax relief provided by the “Tax Reform 2000” was correlated positively with size of enterprise. This size-dependent tax burden identifies a so far neglected type of tax distortion. Future tax reforms hence also have to address size neutrality.

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  • Gebhardt, Heinz & Siemers, Lars-H. R., 2011. "Die relative Steuerlast mittelständischer Kapitalgesellschaften
    [The relative tax burden of medium-sized corporations in Germany]
    ," MPRA Paper 28894, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:28894

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stefan Bach & Nadja Dwenger, 2007. "Unternehmensbesteuerung: trotz hoher Steuersätze mäßiges Aufkommen," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 74(5), pages 57-65.
    2. Egger, Peter & Eggert, Wolfgang & Winner, Hannes, 2010. "Saving taxes through foreign plant ownership," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 99-108, May.
    3. Engel, Dirk & Middendorf, Torge, 2009. "Investment, internal funds and public banking in Germany," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(11), pages 2132-2139, November.
    4. Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521845731, March.
    5. European Commission, 2004. "Taxation trends in the European Union: 2004 edition," Taxation trends 2004, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    6. Alfons Weichenrieder, 2009. "Profit shifting in the EU: evidence from Germany," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 16(3), pages 281-297, June.
    7. Johannes Becker & Clemens Fuest, 2006. "Ist Deutschland Hoch- oder Niedrigsteuerland? Der Versuch einer Synthese," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7(1), pages 35-42, February.
    8. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
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    More about this item


    Steuerlastmessung; KMU; Steuerreform; Umsatzneutralität;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue

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