IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/rut/rutres/201122.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Capital Income Taxation and Progressivity in a Global Economy

Author

Listed:
  • Rosanne Altshuler

    () (Rutgers University, Department of Economics)

  • Benjamin Harris

    () (Brookings Institution)

  • Eric Toder

    () (Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center)

Abstract

The increase in international capital mobility over the past two decades has put pressure on the tax treatment of corporate equity income. Corporate-level taxes distort investment flows across locations and create opportunities for tax avoidance by shifting income across jurisdictions. Outward flows of capital shift part of the burden of the corporate-level tax on equity income from capital to labor, thereby making its incidence less progressive. Individual-level taxes on corporate equity income lower the after-tax return to savings but have less distorting effects on investment location and are more likely to fall on owners of capital than workers. This logic suggests there may be both efficiency gains and increases in progressivity from shifting taxes on corporate equity income from the corporate to the shareholder level. We estimate the distributional effects of a tax reform that raises shareholder-level taxes on corporate equity income and uses the revenue to cut the corporate tax rate. We find that taxing capital gains and dividends as ordinary income (subject to a maximum 28% rate on long-term capital gains) would finance a cut in the corporate tax rate from 35% to about 26%, assuming no behavioral response. While the distributional effect depends on what one assumes about the incidence of the corporate income tax, our results suggest that even if the corporate income tax were paid entirely by capital income, the reform would make the tax system more progressive.

Suggested Citation

  • Rosanne Altshuler & Benjamin Harris & Eric Toder, 2011. "Capital Income Taxation and Progressivity in a Global Economy," Departmental Working Papers 201122, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:rut:rutres:201122
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sas.rutgers.edu/virtual/snde/wp/2011-22.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Clausing, Kimberly A., 2013. "Who Pays the Corporate Tax in a Global Economy?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 66(1), pages 151-184, March.
    2. Harry Grubert & Rosanne Altshuler, 2016. "Shifting the Burden of Taxation From the Corporate to the Personal Level and Getting the Corporate Tax Rate Down to 15 Percent," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 69(3), pages 643-676, September.
    3. Harry Grubert & Rosanne Altshuler, 2013. "Fixing the System: An Analysis of Alternative Proposals for the Reform of International Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 66(3), pages 671-712, September.
    4. Claudio Agostini, 2016. "Small Firms and Presumptive Tax Regimes in Chile: Tax Avoidance and Equity," Working Papers wp_049, Adolfo Ibáñez University, School of Government.
    5. Rosanne Altshuler & Barry Bosworth, 2011. "Fiscal Consolidation in America: The Policy Options," Departmental Working Papers 201120, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    6. Claudio A Agostini & Bárbara Flores & Claudia Martinez, 2011. "Equidad Tributaria Horizontal en el Impuesto al Ingreso en Chile," Working Papers wp_012, Adolfo Ibáñez University, School of Government.
    7. Oliver Denk & Robert P. Hagemann & Patrick Lenain & Valentin Somma, 2013. "Inequality and Poverty in the United States: Public Policies for Inclusive Growth," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1052, OECD Publishing.
    8. Leonard E. Burman, 2012. "Testimony presented before the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance entitled “Tax Reform and the Tax Treatment of Capital Gains"," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 144, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    corporate taxation; individual taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rut:rutres:201122. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/derutus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.