Which is an Example of a Negative Incentive for Producers

Which is an Example of a Negative Incentive for Producers

Economic Annotation

Economical Note
prepared by Gabriel A. Giménez Roche, acquaintance researcher at the Institut économique Molinari.

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Economic Note
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Corporate taxation slows downwardly economic recovery in France – Tax hamonisation with our neighbours would require a 20% cutting in the corporate taxation burden

France’due south financial recovery post-obit the 2008 crisis has been slowing down always since 2012. Although it is evident that this slump in tax revenue is due to slower activity, this can no longer be explained by the crisis context. Indeed, most strange trade partners have recovered more than strongly than France, and French exports are now at college levels than before the crisis.(1) Worse still, the starting time half of 2015 saw a 48% drop in corporate income tax acquirement.(two) It is true that this is partly due to tax rebates under the CICE, a programme meant to encourage competitiveness and employment. But the reject is much sharper than the anticipated rebates. This suggests that the broadening of the revenue enhancement base expected under the rebate plan is not really occurring and that corporate taxation remains a problem.


Where corporate revenue enhancement is concerned, what often comes to mind is the 33.3% corporate income tax charge per unit. Nevertheless, this is not the only taxation that entrepreneurs consider when deciding whether to create a company, expand an existing firm or invest in a particular country. At present, the corporate tax brunt imposed on a pocket-sized or medium business in France can corporeality to over 60% of its pre- tax internet profit(3) (see Figure 1). Indeed, corporate revenue enhancement comprises all taxes paid by a business. In add-on to the corporate income revenue enhancement paid on earnings, it also includes employer-borne social security contributions paid on payroll, real estate taxes and many other minor taxes. Each 1 of these taxes may take dissimilar treatments, interpretations, and allowances that add up to greater tax complexity.


Corporate revenue enhancement also includes taxes indirectly borne by businesses since they affect shareholders and creditors who provide financing. These include taxes on dividends, capital gains and business organisation-related interest. Moreover, some companies confront surtaxes depending on their expanse of activity or production blazon, or just because they exceed a sure turnover level.

Corporate taxation is of bully business concern in investors’ decisions and hence in economic growth and employment. Circuitous and excessive tax deters foreign investors, drives out domestic investors, curbs entrepreneurship, and results in deadweight losses due to tax compliance and tax avoidance costs. Friendly taxation, meanwhile, broadens the tax base past attracting strange investment, encouraging domestic investment and stimulating entrepreneurship, thus entailing greater tax compliance.


Slower activeness in France is most probably related to the corporate tax brunt imposed on French businesses during tenuous times. In actual fact, firms and investors are adjusting to France’due south revamped corporate taxation burden after an initial tax shock from which they could not escape. The introduction of the CICE does not counter this daze because it involves simply firms that are actively increasing their workforces, in other words growing. A company facing hard times can hardly retrieve about hiring people but has to pay its employer-borne social security contributions at the full rate. Moreover, from 2011 to 2015, companies have faced an exceptional surtax of 10.7% on summit of their corporate income tax.(4) This can effectively raise the tax rate from 33.iii% to most 37%. Investors who had their incomes tax capped at 39.5% under a specific government before 2012(five) at present run across their capital gains taxed in full under the personal income tax arrangement, with its 45% top marginal rate. With the wealth tax included, investors can potentially be taxed at up to 70% of their gains.


Economic growth

Tax has unlike impacts depending on the grade information technology assumes. Corporate and shareholder taxes reduce the capital funds bachelor to make investments and build a greater and more productive structure. This means that growth in the volume of productivity-boosting equipment, facilities and knowledge resulting in enhanced purchasing ability for investors and employees alike — that is, capital aggregating in the economy — decelerates.(vi)

The fact is, firms are the source of about income circulating in any economy. Although it is true that their income depends on their clients’ wealth, firms are the entities that acquit the bodily redistribution of income in the economy. Profits are a sign that a firm generated more wealth than is used in production. This entails a potential increase in income for various agents. Shareholders obtain dividends, and employees may run across pay rises in the course of turn a profit-sharing. Any profit that is retained as corporate savings implies future investment that generates new income flows to electric current and time to come employees. Taxing corporate income is therefore equivalent to reducing all these income flows.

Recent studies point out how harmful the corporate income tax can be to economic growth. In a thorough study analysing the touch of some 104 tax changes in the postal service-WWII United States, Christina and David Romer bear witness that a 1% federal tax increment results in a 3% fall in output after two years.(7) In a broader written report roofing 15 adult countries, the Imf examines 170 fiscal consolidations over more than 30 years, with a similar result: a 1% revenue enhancement increase reduces GDP by 1.3% after two years.(8) Other studies based on xx OECD countries conclude that corporate income tax is the grade of tax well-nigh harmful to investment and productivity growth.(9) Indeed, a mutual finding is that reducing corporate income revenue enhancement by 1% could event in Gdp gains of 0.i% to 0.6%.(10)

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A number of studies prove that a rearrangement of a country’s taxation structure by shifting the tax burden from income taxes to consumption taxes could make taxation more than efficient and friendlier to economic growth.(11) This may brand sense if the consumption tax is depression to brainstorm with. Just if it is already loftier, equally it is in French republic, shifting the burden would be a problem. Producers facing depression price sensitivity in demand could more easily shift the tax to consumers. But this leaves consumers with less income to spend on other products and reduces their ability to save. Therefore, other producers are indirectly hurt by taxes on these products, and the economy in general suffers from the reduced savings as investment decelerates. On the other mitt, producers coping with cost-sensitive demand may accept to absorb the tax hike in order to avert a drib in sales, cutting their margins rather than shift the taxation. This amounts to taxing product instead of consumption, hurting reinvestment. In the terminate, shifting the revenue enhancement brunt to consumption ultimately impacts capital accumulation.

Bear on on foreign direct investment

In improver to the distortions it causes to economical growth, corporate tax influences foreign direct investment (FDI) decisions. Information technology creates a wedge between pre- and post-tax returns on FDI. The greater the wedge, the lower the incentive to undertake FDI in a given country.(12) Of course, this does not mean that high taxation volition necessarily prevent investment in a country. Other considerations such as market place openness, labour costs and regulatory hurdles are also taken into account. However, these advantages can quickly be corroded if the wedge on FDI returns is too neat, favouring low-tax countries to the detriment of loftier-tax jurisdictions.(thirteen) In France, strange investment flows between 2010 and 2013 were 44.87% lower than in the 2000-2003 catamenia. Flows are five times lower than in the previous decade.(14)

This tin be seen in France’southward performance in competitiveness indices. In the
International Tax Competitiveness Index
prepared past the Taxation Foundation, France ranks last among OECD countries.(15) In the
Global Competitiveness Index
ranking published by the World Economic Forum, France does better but still ranks far below its main economic rivals in the European Spousal relationship. French republic ranks 22nd in the 2015 edition, while Germany and the Uk are part of both the Global and European Meridian 10.

Regardless of the credibility attached to these competitiveness rankings, information technology is undeniable that France is losing attractiveness in Europe. Its main economic rivals in the region of similar population and GDP size, namely, Federal republic of germany, Italy and the Great britain, are all performing better than France in inwards FDI flows. What is even more worrisome is that even Italia, historically an FDI underperformer compared to its neighbours, has now overtaken French republic (see Figure two).


Impact on productivity: savings, tax compliance

The negative impacts of taxation on productivity involve many channels. Taxation of corporate income, for instance, punishes savings non just by the firm but also by its shareholders, who usually confront double taxation. The aforementioned income — in the class of corporate profits — is first taxed under the weight of the corporate income tax so, when distributed as dividends, it falls nether the yoke of personal income tax. In France, double taxation tin can easily accomplish lx% of the gross realized gains from an investor’southward belongings in a company, the highest in the OECD.(16) Double taxation makes equity investment more than expensive and leads corporations to choose debt finance over disinterestedness finance. In times of economic euphoria, corporations thus take on too much debt, which can prove fatal when a crunch sets in. Double taxation also penalises long-term investment when debt finance is non readily available to a company. Consequently, firms may choose to focus on curt-term projects, with more emphasis on labour than on majuscule spending. While this may seem benign for labour, the opposite is true. With less investment in technology and capital goods, labour becomes less productive and therefore yields lower returns. Wages can thus be depressed by tax of profits.

Another channel is the bureaucratic costs involved in revenue enhancement compliance. The complexity and lack of transparency of taxation ways that its costs can exist quite meaning. Companies hire experts to make sense of the law and avoid over- or underpayment. Authoritative costs are pushed up by the documentation needed to justify a revenue enhancement position. This is especially harmful to businesses that must incur bogus costs completely unrelated to their product and commercial activities.(17) In a survey of the well-nigh recent academic studies on tax compliance costs, Fichtner and Feldman discover that the hidden costs of tax compliance vary between 1.3% and six.1% of GDP, producing a taxation gap of two.8% of GDP for the U.South. federal government.(18)

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Tax avoidance

Revenue enhancement avoidance refers to all practices and schemes adopted by companies to reduce their tax brunt legally. In spite of the bad press it draws, tax avoidance is a competitive necessity in a globalized world, where markets are no longer express to domestic consumers and investors. Tax avoidance satisfies the corporate performance requirements of shareholders and creditors with respect to gains from dividends and interest. This makes investors more receptive to management, which is then better able to undertake longer-term projects that build upwards uppercase, increase productivity and generate new production outlets. Labour remuneration and employment improve. This likewise means that shareholders will go on investing in the business firm for a longer menstruum, instead of selling their shares in a speculative movement as soon as they make a capital proceeds. Moreover, tax avoidance makes a company more than competitive. By increasing its available income, tax avoidance allows for investment on new organizational methods and technology that tin can improve its price structure vis-à-vis its competitors. Furthermore, the availability of greater capital letter reserves helps a company deal with hard times more finer.

Taxation avoidance does non involve all companies. Nor is it express to large companies. Simply the more mobile companies, in terms of either production or sales, usually those with much of their income coming from foreign markets, tin expect to relish taxation avoidance advantages beyond domestic tax shelters. Large multinationals benefit from large incomes that enable them to implement complex taxation avoidance schemes involving parent and subsidiary companies away. Very small companies can benefit from various domestic taxation shelters and subsidies that are akin to taxation avoidance. Only less mobile companies, unable to bear the vicissitudes of tax abstention, must carry the full taxation burden.(nineteen) This foster inequality, with such companies unable to shift their incomes to domestic tax shelters or lower-tax countries.(20) Not-tax-fugitive firms thus lose competitiveness, jeopardising their ability to invest and employ.

In any case, tax avoidance helps undo tax policies that rely on higher tax rates to increase regime revenue. The college the rates, the greater the tax compliance costs are and the greater the incentives to engage in tax avoidance. Fighting taxation avoidance through regulation may prove counterproductive to the government for five reasons.(21) Showtime, whenever taxation authorities endeavor to regulate tax avoidance, they make electric current revenue enhancement regulation longer and more complex. This increases tax compliance costs, which reinforces the incentive for taxation abstention or worse, fiscal exile. 2d, the resulting higher costs of tax compliance also increase the authorities’ administrative tax surveillance and collection costs. Tertiary, whatsoever reaction against tax abstention is met by growth in the tax avoidance lobby industry, funnelling company funds that would otherwise exist used in product. Quaternary, the increase in tax regulation entails growth in the tax specialist manufacture within big corporations and bookkeeping firms, farther diverting funds from productive apply. Finally, government risks losing revenue as tax avoidance rises or as tax-avoiding companies simply decide to leave their territory.


Corporate taxation, especially in France, is a drag on the economic system. Loftier-taxing governments miss the signal that wealth is generated within companies and that this wealth is continuously redistributed every bit remuneration to employees
to investors. Withal, companies need upper-case letter to generate wealth, and this comes from investors. Corporate taxation penalises investors and afterward penalises employees also as companies invest less or leave the country.

Companies are increasingly integrated into a global economy and are no longer express to their original domestic markets. In society to stay on course, French republic should at least harmonise its tax brunt and regulatory complexity to the same level as the balance of the earth. This implies a decline of more than 20% in overall corporate revenue enhancement. This would simply make France as competitive equally its better-performing neighbours of similar size, such as Germany and the United Kingdom. If France were to aim at becoming more competitive, and then an effort of more than than xx% would be necessary. This would not necessarily crusade a refuse in government revenues. On the contrary, if corporate taxation is drastically reduced, then are revenue enhancement compliance costs, resulting in a broadening of the tax base. This has worked for France’s partners in the European Spousal relationship. Nothing would preclude information technology from working for French republic as well.


1. Prior to the 2008 crunch, French exports reached a peak of €138 billion. Today, France is reaching €160 billion in exports. Sources: European Central Bank and Eurostat.

2. Raphaël Legendre, “Impôt sur les sociétés : les recettes plongent de moitié.”
(Retrieved 1 Nov 2015).

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3. The typical visitor is a medium-sized (60 employees) express liability company, realizing a pre-tax 20% gross margin. For the total profile on France and the description of the typical visitor meet PricewaterhouseCoopers (2015),
Paying Taxes 2015: The Global Picture, pp. 95-98, 121-132 (Retrieved 9 November 2015).

4. Taxable corporate income in France refers to internet earnings before tax. From the end of 2011 to the end of 2013, the surtax was 5%. After that, it became 10.7% upwards to belatedly 2015. Source: impots.gouv.fr.

5. Before the tax reform of 2012, capital and surplus-value gains were taxed according to the underlying investment concerned (mandatory social security contributions already included): real manor, 32%; equity securities, 32.5%; dividends, 36.five%, interest, 39.five%. Today all these gains are taxed under the personal income tax authorities. See: “Cinq questions sur la nouvelle fiscalité du capital.”
(Retrieved 5 November 2015).

6. The reader should not misfile capital aggregating with capital concentration. Capital concentration is the amassing of the economic system’due south accumulated capital by a few individuals or institutions to the detriment of others.

7. Christina Romer and David Romer (2010), “The macroeconomic effects of tax changes: Estimates based on a new measure of fiscal shocks,”
American Economic Review
100 (three), pp. 763-801.

8. International monetary fund (2010), “Volition it hurt? The macroeconomic furnishings of fiscal consolidation,” in
Earth Economic Outlook: Recovery, Chance, and Rebalancing, pp. 93-124.

nine. Norman Gemmel, Richard Kneller and Ismael Sanz (2011), “The timing and persistence of financial policy impacts on growth: Evidence from OECD countries,”
Economic Periodical
121 (550), pp. F33-F58. Jens Arnold,
et al. (2011), “Tax policy for economic recovery and growth,”
Economic Journal
121(550), pp. F59-F80.

ten. In their study of Canadian provinces, Ferede and Dahlby discover that reducing the corporate income tax by 1% raises annual growth by 0.one% to 0.2%. Ergete Ferede and Bev Dahlby (2012), “The bear on of tax cuts on economic growth: Evidence from the Canadian provinces,”
National Tax Journal
65 (three), pp. 563-594. Mertens and Ravn, later analyzing exogenous changes in corporate taxes in post-WWII America, testify that a 1% cut in corporate income tax results in 0.half dozen% Gross domestic product growth after a year. Karel Mertens and Morten O. Ravn (2012), “Empirical evidence on the aggregate furnishings of anticipated and unanticipated us tax policy shocks,”
American Economical Review
4 (ii), pp. 145-181. Barro and Redlick summate using U.S. information from 1912 to 2006 that a 1% cut in the boilerplate marginal revenue enhancement rate tin can result in a 0.5% positive impact on GDP per capita. Robert J. Barro and C. J. Redlick (2011), “Macroeconomic effects from government purchases and taxes,”
Quarterly Journal of Economics
126 (1), pp. 51-102. Finally, Lee and Gordon discover after a cantankerous-sectional assay of seventy countries from 1980-1997 that a 1% cutting of the income tax raises annual growth by 0.ane% to 0.2%. Young Lee and Roger Gordon (2005), “Revenue enhancement construction and economic growth,”
Journal of Public Economic science
89 (5-6), pp. 1027-1043.

11. Jens Arnold,
et al. (2011), “Tax policy for economic recovery and growth,”
Economic Journal
121(550), pp. F59-F80. OECD (2009),
Economic Policy Reforms: Going for Growth, pp. 143-161. Vartia, et al. (2008), “Revenue enhancement and economic growth,”
OECD Economic science Department Working Papers.

12. Laura Vartia,
et al. (2006), “Taxation and business organisation surroundings as drivers of foreign directly investment in OECD countries,”
OECD Economic Studies
(2), pp. 7-38.

13. OECD (2009),
Economic Policy Reforms: Going for Growth, pp. 143-161.

14. The average for the 2000-2003 period was 185,360 million dollars against only 102,178 dollars for the 2010-2013 menses. It is likewise worth remarking that between 2000 and 2010, the average flow of FDI in France was 559,241 million dollars. Source: OECD.

15. “2015 International Tax Competitiveness Index.” Taxation Foundation (Retrieved 5 November 2015).

xvi. Michelle Harding (2013), “Taxation of dividend, involvement, and capital gain income,”
OECD Revenue enhancement Working Papers
No. 19, OECD Publishing.

17. A good example in France that goes beyond fiscal compliance costs can be found here: “Bureaucratie à la française: le témoignage choc d’un patron de PME.”
(Retrieved 31 October 2015).

18. Jason J. Fichter and Jacob M. Feldman (2013), “The hidden costs of taxation compliance,” Mercatus Heart — George Mason University.

nineteen. In France, the big losers are actually small and medium companies (between 10 and 250 employees) that pay more than 30% of internet earnings as corporate income tax, while the corporate income revenue enhancement of large (+250 employees) and very small companies (< ten employees) range only from 12% to 23% of net earnings (Source: Base de données ESANE de l’INSEE). Indeed, French SMEs seem to be too modest and domestically-based to benefit from strange-based tax avoidance schemes while also being too big to benefit fully from domestic-based taxation shelters and production incentives.

20. Grahame Dowling (2014), “The curious case of corporate tax avoidance: is it socially irresponsible?”
Journal of Business Ethics

124 (1), pp. 173-184.

21. Dowling (2014),
op. cit., footnote twenty.

Which is an Example of a Negative Incentive for Producers

Source: https://www.institutmolinari.org/2015/11/23/taxation-and-its-negative-impact-on-business-investment-activities/