Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Uppsala University, Department of Economics

No 2001:16: Economic Effects of Taxing Closed Corporations under a Dual Income Tax

Tobias Lindhe , Jan Södersten () and Ann Öberg ()
Additional contact information
Tobias Lindhe: Department of Economics, Postal: Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Jan Södersten: Department of Economics, Postal: Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Ann Öberg: Department of Economics, Postal: Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: Under the Nordic dual income tax system, the taxpayer's total tax bill depends not only on his total income but also on the division of that income between capital income and labor income. This has created new room for tax avoidance, especially for active owners of (closed) corporations. For that reason the Nordic governments have enacted special income-splitting rules and this paper examines the economic effects of these rules. The Swedish scheme of taxing closed corporations is shown to be neutral in its impact on the allocation of resources between closely and widely held corporations, and the cost of capital is invariant to the rate at which capital income is imputed to the owner. The Finnish system rather increases the attractiveness of investing in closed corporations, while the Norwegian scheme may or may not cause the cost of capital to be different from that of widely held corporations. Finally, for Swedish tax rules, we show that the owner's labor supply may decrease as a response to a more lenient tax treatment.

Keywords: Dual income taxation; Tax avoidance; Corporate taxation; Cost of capital

JEL-codes: H24; H25; H32

38 pages, September 1, 2001

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