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AN EMPIRICAL ASSESSMENT OF SHIFTING THE PAYROLL TAX BURDEN IN SMALL BUSINESSES

Advances in Taxation

ISBN: 978-0-76231-134-7, eISBN: 978-1-84950-290-0

ISSN: 1058-7497

Publication date: 9 November 2004

Abstract

Prior studies on the social security tax have focused on it being regressive; a system that is detrimental to savings in the United States; a system that will bankrupt itself; and a host of economic inquiries examining labor market and product demand elasticities and the impact of the substitution effect. However, there is scant evidence on the shifting mechanisms employed by the owners of millions of small businesses in the United States. As a result, this study revisits the issue by surveying 4,431 small businesses in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi (ArkLaMiss). Results indicate, in the ArkLaMiss area, that the largest share of the tax burden is borne by customers. When compared to past literature, a relatively larger portion of the incidence of payroll taxes is likely to fall on employees in the ArkLaMiss, as opposed to the burden being borne by firms and customers. Also, stronger anti-tax sentiment was noted in the ArkLaMiss as compared to prior literature. Little support was found for the proposition that firm size impacts the incidence of taxation. On the other hand, statistical analysis indicates that the industry within which a firm operates was influential in the incidence of taxation. Moreover, in the sample, the banking/financial industry passed the largest percentage of the tax on to employees, the public accounting profession passed the largest percentage on to customers, and the legal profession bore the largest share of the tax in the form of reduced profit.

Citation

Englebrecht, T.D. and Bisping, T.O. (2004), "AN EMPIRICAL ASSESSMENT OF SHIFTING THE PAYROLL TAX BURDEN IN SMALL BUSINESSES", Advances in Taxation (Advances in Taxation, Vol. 16), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 25-54. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1058-7497(04)16002-X

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited