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Book-Tax Gap. An Income Horse Race

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  • Maurizio Bovi

    (ISAE - Institute for Studies & Economic Analyses)

Abstract

This paper presents some stylised facts about the book-tax gap, i.e. the difference between book and taxable income, of Italian corporations. This divergence is a reflection of the usage of any tax shields and any applicable credits and rebates which, in turn, implies that the concept of taxable income is elusive. Moreover overlapping fiscal policies make harder, on the one hand, firms’ tax planning and, on the other hand, policymakers’ control on the effectiveness of their manoeuvres. As for the fiscal year 2000, evidence based on data drawn from the Diecofis database shows that, as expected (why pay more?), in Italy there is a widespread and active industry set up to enable taxpayers to identify and take advantage of particular tax effects. In that year 55,201 (16% of the) firms were able to report positive book profits and to indicate non positive taxable incomes. A less expected outcome shows that the “income race” may finish in a quite different way. More than half (57%) of the uneconomic companies, ends up with positive taxable incomes (83,449 in absolute terms). A disaggregated analysis highlights that this latter share is much more lower among southern corporations and large enterprises, especially in the construction and in the hotel/restaurant services sectors. Finally, it results that industries whose firms more often declare negative taxable incomes tend to display significantly higher shares of irregular workers, as well.

Suggested Citation

  • Maurizio Bovi, 2005. "Book-Tax Gap. An Income Horse Race," Public Economics 0506009, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0506009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mills, Lillian F. & Plesko, George A., 2003. "Bridging the Reporting Gap: A Proposal for More Informative Reconciling of Book and Tax Income," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 56(4), pages 865-893, December.
    2. Filippo Oropallo, 2004. "Enterprise Microsimulation Models And Data Challenges," Public Economics 0409005, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Heni PURWANTINI & Grahita CHANDRARIN & Prihat ASSIH, 2017. "Minimizing Tax Avoidance by Using Conservatism Accounting through Book Tax Differences. Case Study in Indonesia," Economics and Applied Informatics, "Dunarea de Jos" University of Galati, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, issue 3, pages 140-147.
    2. Maurizio Bovi, 2007. "National accounts, fiscal rules and fiscal policy. Mind the hidden gaps," ISAE Working Papers 76, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY).
    3. Heni Purwantini, 2017. "Minimizing Tax Avoidance by Using Conservatism Accounting Through Book Tax Differences:Case Study in Indonesia," International Journal of Research in Business and Social Science (2147-4478), Center for the Strategic Studies in Business and Finance, vol. 6(5), pages 55-67, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corporate income tax; tax avoidance; accounting;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • M4 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting
    • K2 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law

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