Corporate Taxation and Firm Location in Germany
German Fiscal Federalism is characterized by a high degree of fiscal equalization which lowers the efficiency of local tax administration. Currently, a reform of the fiscal equalization scheme is on the political agenda. One option is to grant federal states the right to raise surtaxes on statutory tax rates set by the central government in order to reduce the equalization rate. In such an environment, especially those federal states with lower economic performance would have to raise comparatively high surtaxes. With capital mobility, this could further lower economic performance and thus tax revenues. Although statutory tax rates are so far identical across German federal states, corporate tax burden differs for several reasons. This paper tries to identify the impact of such differences on firm location. As can be shown, effective corporate taxation did seemingly not have a significant impact on firm location across German federal states.
Local Taxes and Capital Structure Choice
International Tax and Public Finance,
This paper investigates the question of taxation and capital structure choice in Germany. Germany represents an excellent case study for investigating the question of whether and to what extent taxes influence the debt-equity decision of firms, because the relative tax burdens on debt and equity vary greatly across communities. German communities levy local taxes on profits and long-term debt payments in addition to personal and corporate taxes on the federal level. A stylized model is presented incorporating these taxes. The model shows that local taxes create substantial incentives for firms to use debt financing. Furthermore, the paper empirically investigates the effect of local business taxes on the share of debt used to finance incremental investments by German firms. I find that local taxes significantly influence the capital structure choice of firms, controlling for a large number of other factors. In an extensive sensitivity analysis the tax effect are found to be robust across several different specifications.