IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/arqudp/209.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Does capital tax uncertainty delay irreversible risky investment?

Author

Listed:
  • Niemann, Rainer
  • Sureth, Caren

Abstract

Tax uncertainty is often claimed to be harmful for investments. Capital taxes, such as property and wealth taxes, are particularly exposed to tax uncertainty. Capital tax uncertainty emerges from expected tax reforms, the unclear outcome of future tax audits, and simplified estimates of capital tax bases in investment models. Uncertain returns on investment as well as stochastic taxation contribute to overall uncertainty and may significantly affect investment decisions. Hitherto, it is unknown how capital tax uncertainty affects investment timing. However, it is well known that both uncertainty and capital tax may be harmful for investment and decelerate investment activities. We are the first to study the investment timing effects of stochastic capital taxes in a real options setting with risky investment opportunities. Our results indicate that even risk neutral investors are sensitive with respect to capital tax risk and may react in a surprising manner to a newly introduced stochastic capital tax. As an apparently paradoxical investment effect, we find that increased capital tax uncertainty can accelerate risky investment if such uncertainty is sufficiently low compared to cash .ow uncertainty. In contrast, high capital tax risk delays high-risk innovative investment projects. To reduce unintended consequences of uncertain tax policy, tax legislators and tax authorities should avoid high levels of capital tax uncertainty. Broadening the capital tax base or increasing the capital tax rate induces ambiguous timing effects. Furthermore, high-growth investments are likely to be postponed if they experience a capital tax cut. Since investment reactions upon tax reforms are well-known to affect income and wealth distribution, reliable estimations of the impact of taxes on economic decisions are necessary.

Suggested Citation

  • Niemann, Rainer & Sureth, Caren, 2016. "Does capital tax uncertainty delay irreversible risky investment?," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 209, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:arqudp:209
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/144877/1/865158746.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Caren Sureth & Ralf Maiterth, 2008. "The impact of minimum taxation by an imputable wealth tax on capital budgeting and business strategy of German companies," Review of Managerial Science, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 81-110, July.
    2. Richard F. Dye & Therese J. McGuire & David F. Merriman, 2001. "The Impact of Property Taxes and Property Tax Classification on Business Activity in the Chicago Metropolitan Area," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 757-777.
    3. Hassett, Kevin A & Metcalf, Gilbert E, 1999. "Investment with Uncertain Tax Policy: Does Random Tax Policy Discourage Investment?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(457), pages 372-393, July.
    4. Beck, Paul J. & Jung, Woon-Oh, 1989. "Taxpayer compliance under uncertainty," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 1-27.
    5. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 2005. "Zero Expected Wealth Taxes: A Mirrlees Approach to Dynamic Optimal Taxation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(5), pages 1587-1621, September.
    6. Rainer Niemann, 2004. "Tax Rate Uncertainty, Investment Decisions, and Tax Neutrality," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 11(3), pages 265-281, May.
    7. Niemann Rainer & Sureth Caren, 2005. "Capital Budgeting with Taxes under Uncertainty and Irreversibility / Investitionsplanung mit Steuern bei Unsicherheit und Irreversibilität," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 225(1), pages 77-95, February.
    8. Hansson, Åsa, 2005. "The Wealth Tax and Entrepreneurial Activity," Working Papers 2005:43, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    9. Bizer, David S & Judd, Kenneth L, 1989. "Taxation and Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 331-336, May.
    10. Bentick, Brian L, 1979. "The Impact of Taxation and Valuation Practices on the Timing and Efficiency of Land Use," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 859-868, August.
    11. Paolo M. Panteghini, 2005. "Asymmetric Taxation under Incremental and Sequential Investment," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 7(5), pages 761-779, December.
    12. Alm, James, 1988. "Uncertain Tax Policies, Individual Behavior, and Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 237-245, March.
    13. Evsey D. Domar & Richard A. Musgrave, 1944. "Proportional Income Taxation and Risk-Taking," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 388-422.
    14. Mieszkowski, Peter, 1972. "The property tax: An excise tax or a profits tax?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 73-96, April.
    15. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 5474.
    16. Thomas Gries & Ulrich Prior & Caren Sureth, 2012. "A Tax Paradox for Investment Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 14(3), pages 521-545, June.
    17. Alan J. Auerbach & Kevin Hassett, 2015. "Capital Taxation in the Twenty-First Century," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 38-42, May.
    18. Caren Sureth, 2002. "Partially Irreversible Investment Decisions and Taxation under Uncertainty: A Real Option Approach," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(2), pages 185-221, May.
    19. van Wijnbergen, Sweder & Estache, Antonio, 1999. "Evaluating the minimum asset tax on corporations: an option pricing approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 75-96, January.
    20. Paolo M. Panteghini, 2004. "Wide versus Narrow Tax Bases under Optimal Investment Timing," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 60(4), pages 482-482, December.
    21. Kelly D. Edmiston, 2004. "Tax Uncertainty and Investment: A Cross-Country Empirical Examination," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(3), pages 425-440, July.
    22. Jack M. Mintz, 1991. "The Role of Wealth Taxation in the Overall Tax System," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 17(3), pages 237-247, September.
    23. Asa Hansson, 2008. "The Wealth Tax and Entrepreneurial Activity," The Journal of Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, vol. 17(2), pages 139-156, September.
    24. Rainer Niemann, 1999. "Neutral Taxation under Uncertainty - a Real Options Approach," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 56(1), pages 51-66, March.
    25. Luis H. R. Alvarez & Erkki Koskela, 2008. "Progressive Taxation, Tax Exemption, and Irreversible Investment under Uncertainty," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(1), pages 149-169, February.
    26. Niemann, Rainer & Sureth, Caren, 2004. "Tax neutrality under irreversibility and risk aversion," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 43-47, July.
    27. James B. Davies, 1991. "The Distributive Effects of Wealth Taxes," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 17(3), pages 279-308, September.
    28. Agliardi, Elettra, 2001. "Taxation and Investment Decisions: A Real Options Approach," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 44-55, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    property tax; capital tax; investment decisions; real options; timing flexibility; uncertainty;

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

    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:zbw:arqudp:209. 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: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics). General contact details of provider: http://www.arqus.info/ .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.