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The results of this study indicate that a likely reason why a negative relation between estimated implicit taxes and pretax returns is empirically observed is the…
The results of this study indicate that a likely reason why a negative relation between estimated implicit taxes and pretax returns is empirically observed is the researcher’s election to choose a zero tax rate as the benchmark state and local tax rate. Normally, an observed negative relation between estimated implicit taxes and pretax returns supports the hypothesis generated by implicit tax theory. This conclusion regarding the implicit tax hypothesis may be premature whenever the incidence of state and local income taxes contributes to this empirical finding. First, state income taxes, treated as a negative subsidy when the benchmark state and local tax rate is set at zero, will likely cause implicit taxes to be underestimated. Second, the observed relationship between estimated implicit taxes and pretax returns appears to be reversible depending upon the researcher’s election of a statutory tax rate that incorporates the selected benchmark state and local tax rate.
The present study uses a sample of 848 firms covering the years from 1989 through 1998 to show how the relation between estimated implicit taxes and pretax returns can be manipulated by the selection of the benchmark state and local tax rate. Since choosing an accurate benchmark state and local tax rate can be problematic, the present study suggests adjusting both estimated implicit taxes and pretax income by the amount of state and local income taxes incurred. The results, using the regression model making this adjustment, appear to nullify the negative bias of a zero tax rate as the benchmark state and local tax rate.
We examine whether variations in the most fundamental aspects of state corporate income tax regimes affect state economic activity as measured by personal income, gross…
We examine whether variations in the most fundamental aspects of state corporate income tax regimes affect state economic activity as measured by personal income, gross state product, and total non-farm employment. We focus on a variety of statutory components of state corporate income taxes that apply broadly in most U.S. states and for most multi-state corporate taxpayers. Our econometric strategy consists of a series of fixed effects panel regressions using state-level data from 1996 through 2010. Our results reveal important interaction effects of tax rates and policies, suggesting that policy makers should avoid making decisions about tax rates in isolation. The results demonstrate a relatively consistent negative economic response to the combination of high tax rates with throwback rules and heavy sales factor weights. Combined reporting has no discernible effect on personal income, GSP, or employment after controlling for tax rates, apportionment, and throwback rules. In an effort to gauge the relative impacts of tax policies on the location of economic activity, we also estimate alternative models in which each state’s economic activity is measured as a share of the national economic activity in each year. Statistically significant effects for tax rates, apportionment formulas, and throwback rules in the shares models suggest that at least some of their impact involves the movement of activity across state lines, thereby leaving open the possibility of a zero-sum game among the states.
A number of states have recently either adopted, or have considered adopting, combined reporting accounting for state income tax purposes. Proponents claim that this…
A number of states have recently either adopted, or have considered adopting, combined reporting accounting for state income tax purposes. Proponents claim that this policy increases state revenues by obviating certain tax panning techniques, while critics claim this policy causes firms to avoid locating in a state, or to downsize. There has been mixed empirical evidence to support either position. The purpose of this paper is to provide more convincing empirical evidence, which is enabled by a new dataset.
The study uses regression analysis and a new dataset available through Dun & Bradstreet. The analysis employs a firm-specific, difference-in-differences design which controls for trends and specifically identifies multistate firms which might be affected by combined reporting. Specifically, the study examines the economic impacts of the recent adoption of combined reporting by four states in terms of sales and employment changes, moves, births, and deaths. The theoretical scope of the paper uses the economics literature on location choice, combined with traditional tax optimization concepts from the accounting and economics literature.
The results suggest that combined reporting does in fact reduce investment in a state in terms of employment and births, deaths, and moves, and this effect is largest for in-state-based firms. From a policy perspective, this may imply that (ceteris paribus) there is an incentive for firms to move their headquarters/major operations out of combined reporting states and into separate reporting states. Given the recent trend for states to adopt combined reporting, the findings may be important. While imposition of combined reporting may increase state tax revenues, states should also consider that such policies may hurt locally based firms and reduce employment, much more so than for out-of-state-based firms. While firms’ location/expansion decisions are clearly also a function of nontax factors, the results here are broadly consistent with literature reviews which conclude that state business taxes do have an impact on business decision-making.
In addition to contributing to the literature on the economic effects of combined reporting for state income tax purposes, this study also introduces the tax research community to a newly available dataset from Dun and Bradstreet that contains precise locational firm and establishment data for public and private firms, as well as data on births, deaths, and moves. The data allows clear identification of firms that are multistate, as well as affiliate information (including exact name and location of parent); type of legal entity; employment; sales; CEO minority information; government contract data; import/export status; foreign ownership; credit data from D&B and Paydex; and other useful data.
Online retailers often lack nexus within a purchaser’s home state and do not collect sales tax at the point of sale. Consumers exacerbate the loss of tax revenue by…
Online retailers often lack nexus within a purchaser’s home state and do not collect sales tax at the point of sale. Consumers exacerbate the loss of tax revenue by typically not remitting the use tax on these purchases. To date, very little research addresses the effectiveness of methods to increase use tax compliance, and the need for more work is well documented in the literature.
This study examines, in a controlled economics-based experiment, the effectiveness of current approaches to close the use tax gap. Participants are randomly assigned to one of three treatments to determine the extent to which they would voluntarily pay use tax on a purchase transaction. The experiment mimics the natural environment and measures the participants’ actual compliance with cash payouts.
We find individuals are significantly more likely to pay the use tax when given detailed information about their online purchases and the use tax obligation compared to only receiving a description of the use tax. We also find compliance is significantly higher when individuals have a separate state income tax line on which to report use tax liability.
Unlike personal income tax compliance, consumers are more likely to evade use tax payments because taxing authorities are usually unable or unwilling to audit consumer purchases. This makes an examination of the effectiveness of reporting and collection methods worthwhile. This study measures use tax compliance based on actual consumer behavior with real economic consequences rather than taxpayer intentions, as reported in prior work. This is important because intentions and behavior are often different, especially in an economic setting. Finally, policymakers will benefit from an effectiveness-assessment of actual methods, rather than hypothetical and potentially unfeasible approaches, to try and increase use tax compliance.
This chapter presents a review of the recent sales and use tax (SUT) literature for accountants, focusing on articles published between 2000 and 2011 in traditional…
This chapter presents a review of the recent sales and use tax (SUT) literature for accountants, focusing on articles published between 2000 and 2011 in traditional accounting outlets. State and local taxes are an important component of accounting research, but the SUT element of state and location taxation has not been reviewed from an accounting perspective. This review indicates that most recent SUT research has focused on evaluating current or proposed SUT structures, or on empirically studying the antecedents and consequences of SUT policy. Behavioral researchers have substantial opportunities to contribute to the SUT field in future studies by conducting surveys, behavioral experiments, and qualitative case studies to further expand the field's understanding of SUT's antecedents and consequences. Overall, this chapter provides a comprehensive overview of recent SUT research that can help to foster interest of SUT within behavioral accounting research and beyond.
This chapter evaluates the effectiveness of states' research and development (R&D, used to represent creditable research expenses) tax credits. Prior studies report mixed…
This chapter evaluates the effectiveness of states' research and development (R&D, used to represent creditable research expenses) tax credits. Prior studies report mixed results on the effect of state R&D tax credit incentives. Generally, such studies consider the influence of state R&D tax credits by applying the statutory income tax and R&D credit tax rates. We reexamine the effect of a state's entire tax burden instead of the statutory tax rates in moderating the effectiveness of a state's R&D tax credit incentives. After controlling for several nontax factors, such as the workplace environment, political environment, and workforce education levels in a regression analysis during the 2010–2013 period in 50 states, we find that statewide private-sector R&D spending is a positive function of the R&D tax credit and this effect increases with the overall level of the state tax burden. We attribute this finding to the fact that high tax burdens increase the present value of the R&D tax credits.
Revenue stability has been an important policy objective for state government administrators. This study explores whether the effect of revenue diversification on revenue…
Revenue stability has been an important policy objective for state government administrators. This study explores whether the effect of revenue diversification on revenue volatility varies in terms of the instability of a state’s economic base. To empirically answer the question, an econometric model that explores a series of factors that could affect revenue stability is estimated using panel data on 47 state governments during the years 1986-2004. The findings indicate that revenue diversification reduces revenue instability for states that are economically stable. However, the revenue-stabilizing effect of diversification diminishes as the economic instability of a state increases. Although revenue diversification has been advocated as a desirable practice for sub-national governments, this study indicates that the benefits of revenue diversification are not always clear and its practice should be moderated by the conditions of a state’s economic base.
The relationship between the local option sales tax (LOST) and property taxes and own source revenue is not well documented in the literature. This may be due in part to…
The relationship between the local option sales tax (LOST) and property taxes and own source revenue is not well documented in the literature. This may be due in part to the aggregated nature of the data, which fails to capture different motivations for adoption of LOSTs. Using county-level data from 35 states, this study finds that LOSTs increase own source revenue and in some circumstances decrease property tax burdens. The primary contribution of this research is that it uses a policy variable, the LOST rate, to distinguish between the two types of counties that use their LOST revenues differently. This research represents the first step in bridging the gap between the LOST literature and the tax mix choice literature.