nep-acc New Economics Papers
on Accounting and Auditing
Issue of 2010‒10‒02
six papers chosen by
Alexander Harin
Modern University for the Humanities

  1. Investment certificates under German taxation: Benefit or burden for structured products' performance? By Scholz, Peter; Walther, Ursula
  2. The economics of wealth transfer tax By CREMER, Helmuth; PESTIEAU, Pierre
  3. Taxation, Dividends, and Share Repurchases: Taking Evidence Global By Jacob, Martin
  4. Competition and Welfare Effects of VAT Exemptions By Helmut Dietl; Christian Jaag; Markus Lang; Urs Trinkner
  5. Basel III and responding to the recent Financial Crisis: progress made by the Basel Committee in relation to the need for increased bank capital and increased quality of loss absorbing capital By Ojo, Marianne
  6. Tax progression: International and intertemporal comparison using LIS data By Pogorelskiy, Kirill; Seidl, Christian; Traub, Stefan

  1. By: Scholz, Peter; Walther, Ursula
    Abstract: Despite their impressive market success, investment certificates' benefits are puzzling from both a theoretical and an empirical viewpoint. Previous research analyzed portfoliotheoretical issues, mispricing patterns, and counterparty risk. This work highlights the impact of taxation, which has not been previously addressed for these instruments. In order to capture tax effects, we simulate the entire return distributions of several structured products under the two most recent German taxation systems. Evaluation is done based on the concepts of stochastic dominance as well as expected utility. For the latter, we use both a risk neutral and a loss averse value function. Individual preferences prove relevant especially for those instruments that have been tailored to loss averse investors. We find significant tax effects, but they depend on the particular tax regime and the structure of the instrument. Interestingly, the introduction of the final withholding tax system substantially diminishes previously existing tax advantages. --
    Keywords: Abgeltungsteuer,bootstrapping,capital gain tax,expected return,expected utility,financial instruments,flat tax,Halbeinkünfteverfahren,historical simulation,investment certificates,return shaping,risk-return profiles,stochastic dominance,structured products,taxation
    JEL: G11
    Date: 2010
  2. By: CREMER, Helmuth (IDEI, Toulouse School of Economics, France); PESTIEAU, Pierre (Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE), Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Louvain la Neuve, Belgium; CREPP, Université de Liège, Belgium; PSE and CEPR)
    Abstract: This paper discusses the merits of wealth transfer taxation on both efficiency and equity grounds. It first deals with the popular debate that is dominated by American economists. This debate concerns the US estate tax, which is one, among many, types of wealth transfer tax. After addressing the main issues prevailing in this debate and discussing the lack of popular support for such tax, the paper adopts a more theoretical approach to explore the pluses and the minuses of a wealth transfer tax. The main point is that the desirability of a wealth transfer tax depends on the motives of wealth accumulation and transmission.
    Keywords: estate tax, inheritance tax, bequest motives
    JEL: H21 H24
    Date: 2010–06–01
  3. By: Jacob, Martin (Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: We compile a comprehensive international dividend and capital gains tax data set to study tax explanations of corporate payouts for a panel of 5,767 firms from 25 countries for 1990-2008. We find robust evidence that the tax penalty on dividends versus capital gains is statistically significant and negatively related to firms’ propensity to pay dividends, initiate such payments, and the amount of dividends paid. Our analysis further reveals that an increase in the dividend tax penalty raises firms’ likelihood to repurchase shares, initiate such repurchases, and the amount of shares repurchased. This is strong confirming evidence that when listed industrial firms globally design their payout policies, they take into careful consideration the relative tax implications of their payout choices.
    Keywords: Taxation; Dividends; Stock Repurchases; Payout Policy
    JEL: G10 G15 G30 G35 H24 H25
    Date: 2010–09–22
  4. By: Helmut Dietl; Christian Jaag; Markus Lang; Urs Trinkner
    Abstract: Distortions under the value-added tax (VAT) arise mainly from the exemption of specific services and sectors. This paper develops an analytical model that is applicable to any sector characterized by asymmetric VAT exemptions of services and activities or differentiated VAT rates. We analyze the effects of such asymmetric VAT regimes on market shares, optimal prices, and tax receipts analytically and by simulation. The analytical model shows how asymmetric VAT exemptions distort competition by strengthening the competitive position of non-rated firms. The net effect of VAT exemptions depends on the fraction of VAT rated inputs versus the fraction of non-rated customers. We further shed light on the main competitive impact of VAT policies, while showing the consequences on overall welfare by presenting simulation results based on a calibrated quantitative model of a selected sector. The contribution of our paper is to provide guidance on how to resolve the policy trade-off between a level playing field, consumer surplus and government tax revenue.
    Keywords: Value-added tax, indirect taxation, tax regulation, tax exemption, universal service obligation, postal sector
    JEL: H21 H25 L51 L87
    Date: 2010–09
  5. By: Ojo, Marianne
    Abstract: Developments since the introduction of the 1988 Basel Capital Accord have resulted in growing realisation that new forms of risks have emerged and that previously existing and managed forms require further redress. The revised Capital Accord, Basel II, evolved to a form of meta regulation – a type of regulation which involves the risk management of internal risks within firms. The 1988 Basel Accord was adopted as a means of achieving two primary objectives: Firstly, “…to help strengthen the soundness and stability of the international banking system – this being facilitated where international banking organisations were encouraged to supplement their capital positions; and secondly, to mitigate competitive inequalities.” As well as briefly outlining various efforts and measures which have been undertaken and adopted by several bodies in response to the recent Financial Crisis, this paper considers why efforts aimed at developing a new framework, namely, Basel III, have been undertaken and global developments which have promulgated the need for such a framework. Further, it attempts to evaluate the strengths and flaws inherent in the present and future regulatory frameworks by drawing a comparison between Basel II and the enhanced framework which will eventually be referred to as Basel III.
    Keywords: capital; cyclicality; buffers; risk; regulation; internal controls; equity; liquidity; losses; forward looking provisions; silent participations; Basel III
    JEL: E0 K2 E32 E58 E44
    Date: 2010–09–22
  6. By: Pogorelskiy, Kirill; Seidl, Christian; Traub, Stefan
    Abstract: The conventional approach to comparing tax progression (using local measures, global measures or dominance relations for first moment distribution functions) often lacks applicability to the real world: local measures of tax progression have the disadvantage of ignoring the income distribution entirely. Global measures are affected by the drawback of all aggregation, viz. ignoring structural differences between the objects to be compared. Dominance relations of comparing tax progression depend heavily on the assumption that the same income distribution holds for both situations to be compared, which renders this approach impossible for international and intertemporal comparisons. Based on the earlier work of one of the authors, this paper develops a unified methodology to compare tax progression for dominance relations under different income distributions. We address it as uniform tax progression for different income distributions and present the respective approach for both continuous and discrete cases, the latter also being employed for empirical investigations. Using dominance relations, we define tax progression under different income distributions as a class of natural extensions of uniform tax progression in terms of taxes, net incomes, and differences of first moment distribution functions. To cope with different monetary units and different supports of the income distributions involved, we utilized their transformations to population and income quantiles. Altogether, we applied six methods of comparing tax progression, three in terms of taxes and three in terms of net incomes, which we utilized for empirical analyses of comparisons of tax progression using data from the Luxembourg Income Study. This is the first paper that performs international and intertemporal comparisons of uniform tax progression with actual data. For our analysis we chose those countries for which LIS disposes of data on gross incomes, taxes, payroll taxes and net incomes. This pertains to 15 countries, out of which we selected 13. This gave rise to 78 international comparisons, which we carried out for household data, equivalized data, direct taxes and direct taxes inclusive of payroll taxes. In total we investigated 312 international comparisons for each of the six methods of comparing tax progression. In two thirds of all cases we observed uniformly greater tax progression for international comparisons. In a bit more than one fifth of all cases we observed bifurcate tax progression, that is, progression is higher for one country up to some population or income quantile threshold, beyond which the situation is the opposite, i.e., progression is higher for the second country. No clear-cut findings can be reported for just one tenth of all cases. But even in these cases some curve differences are so small that they may well be ignored. We also test consistency of our results with regard to the six methods of comparing tax progression and present here twelve (Germany, the UK and the US) plus four comparing Germany and Sweden out of the total of 312 graphs, each containing six differences of first moment distribution functions. These differences can be interpreted as intensity of greater tax progression. We demonstrate the overall picture of uniform tax progression for international comparisons using Hasse diagrams. Concerning intertemporal comparisons of tax progression, we present the results for the US, the UK, and Germany for several time periods. We align our findings with respect to major political eras in these countries, e.g., G. Bush senior, W. Clinton, and G. Bush junior for the United States; M. Thatcher, J. Major, and A. Blair for the United Kingdom, and for Germany, the last year before German re-unification (1989), the beginning of H. Kohl's last term as chancellor (1994), and G. Schröder (2000). In addition, we study sensitivity of our results to the equivalence scale parameter. --
    Keywords: income tax progression,measurement of uniform tax progression,comparisons of tax progression,tax progression with different income distributions
    JEL: H23 H24
    Date: 2010

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