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Equity release and taxation of life annuities

Listed author(s):
  • Määttänen, Niku
  • Valkonen, Tarmo

Elderly people could markedly increase they standard of living by releasing their housing equity. Purchase of a single-payment life annuity would increase the benefits of this release. The tax treatment of these annuities is, however, very strict in Finland, because both yield and capital are taxed without deductibility of premiums. This study describes the wealth structure of households, assesses the options of taxing single-payment life annuities and analyses how launching of these products would influence tax receipts. We recommend that a rate-of-return allowance should be applied, leaving risk-free interest rate and mortality bonus untaxed. We show that adoption of this tax rule is likely to increase tax revenue, since it would reduce tax-preferred housing.

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Paper provided by The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy in its series ETLA Reports with number 5.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 18 Feb 2013
Handle: RePEc:rif:report:5
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