Profit Shifting and Tax‐rate Uncertainty
Journal of Business Finance & Accounting,
Using firm‐level data for 1,084 parent firms in 24 countries and for 9,497 subsidiaries in 54 countries, we show that tax‐motivated profit shifting is larger among subsidiaries in countries that have stable corporate tax rates over time. Our findings further suggest that firms move away from transfer pricing and toward intragroup debt shifting that has lower adjustment costs. Our results are robust to several identification methods and respecifications, and they highlight the important role of tax‐rate uncertainty in the profit‐shifting decision while pointing to an adjustment away from more costly transfer pricing and toward debt shifting.
How Effective are Bank Levies in Reducing Leverage Given the Debt Bias of Corporate Income Taxation?
SUERF Policy Brief,
To finance resolution funds, the regulatory toolkit has been expanded in many countries by bank levies. In addition, these levies are often designed to reduce incentives for banks to rely excessively on wholesale funding resulting in high leverage ratios. At the same time, corporate income taxation biases banks’ capital structure towards debt financing in light of the deductibility of interest on debt. A recent paper published in the Journal of Banking and Finance shows that the implementation of bank levies can significantly reduce leverage ratios, however, only in case corporate income taxes are not too high. The result demonstrates that the effectiveness of regulatory tools can depend upon non-regulatory measures such as corporate taxes, which differ at the country level.
Interactions Between Bank Levies and Corporate Taxes: How is Bank Leverage Affected?
Journal of Banking & Finance,
Regulatory bank levies set incentives for banks to reduce leverage. At the same time, corporate income taxation makes funding through debt more attractive. In this paper, we explore how regulatory levies affect bank capital structure, depending on corporate income taxation. Based on bank balance sheet data from 2006 to 2014 for a panel of EU-banks, our analysis yields three main results: The introduction of bank levies leads to lower leverage as liabilities become more expensive. This effect is weaker the more elevated corporate income taxes are. In countries charging very high corporate income taxes, the incentives of bank levies to reduce leverage turn insignificant. Thus, bank levies can counteract the debt bias of taxation only partially.
The Case for a European Rating Agency: Evidence from the Eurozone Sovereign Debt Crisis
Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money,
Politicians frequently voice that European bond issuers would benefit from the presence of a Europe-based rating agency. We take Fitch as a prototype for such an agency. With its ownership structure and a headquarter in London, Fitch is more European than Moody’s and S&P; during the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis, it also issued more favorable ratings. Fitch’s rating actions, however, were largely ignored by the bond market. Our results thus cast doubt on the benefits of a European credit rating agency.
International Side-payments to Improve Global Public Good Provision when Transfers are Refinanced through a Tax on Local and Global Externalities
International Economic Journal,
This paper discusses a tax-transfer scheme that aims to address the under-provision problem associated with the private supply of international public goods and to bring about Pareto optimal allocations internationally. In particular, we consider the example of the global public good ‘climate stabilization’, both in an analytical and a numerical simulation model. The proposed scheme levies Pigouvian taxes globally, while international side-payments are employed in order to provide incentives to individual countries for not taking a free-ride from the international Pigouvian tax scheme. The side-payments, in turn, are financed via environmental taxes. As a distinctive feature, we take into account ancillary benefits that may be associated with local public characteristics of climate policy. We determine the positive impact that ancillary effects may exert on the scope for financing side-payments via environmental taxation. A particular attractive feature of ancillary benefits is that they arise shortly after the implementation of climate policies and therefore yield an almost immediate payback of investments in abatement efforts. Especially in times of high public debt levels, long periods of amortization would tend to reduce political support for investments in climate policy.
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.
04.01.2017 • 2/2017
Worse ratings by U.S. rating agencies for European sovereigns no argument for European rating agency
A new study by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association shows that the major U.S. rating agencies rated European sovereigns significantly worse than Fitch, which is more “Europe oriented”. Although the findings in part support the claim of some European politicians during the recent debt crisis that there was an “anti-Europe” bias of the U.S. agencies, the study shows that a new European agency would not address this problem. The reason: Market participants would not listen to the new agency.
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