Corporate effective tax rates and tax reform: Evidence spanning Australia's Ralph Review of Business Taxation Reform

Publisher:
Taxation Institute of Australia
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Australian Tax Forum: a journal of taxation policy, law and reform, 2008, 23 pp. 109 - 123
Issue Date:
2008-01
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Our study analyzes corporate effective tax rates of Australian firms for two periods: the years preceding the Ralph Review of Business Taxation reform (1996-99), and the years following the tax reform (2001-04). We investigate differences in both the level and variation of corporate effective tax rates during these periods, and also identify firm-specific characteristics that explain the changes in corporate effective tax rates over these periods. Evidence is presented which shows that the Ralph Review tax reform caused a significant reduction in both the level and variation of corporate effective tax rates. Moreover, our regression results indicate that corporate effective tax rates are related to some major firm-specific characteristics in Australia before and after the tax reform, including capital intensity, inventory intensity and R&D intensity. Our results suggest that while one of major objectives of the Ralph Review was to promote equity in Australias corporate tax system, it still appears inequitable at least regarding several of the firm-specific characteristics considered in this study.
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