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The Personal-Tax Advantages of Equity

Richard Green and Burton Hollifield ()

No 2000-E10, GSIA Working Papers from Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business

Abstract: We compute the value of a firm that pays its cash flows each period through share repurchases in a dynamic environment where personal taxes are paid on realized capital gains and dividends. These results provide a measure of the personal tax advantages of equity financing relative to debt financing, which are often cited as increasing the cost of debt. The initial price of the firm depends on the present value of the taxes paid, which, in turn, depends on the initial price. We solve this valuation problem in closed form in a deterministic setting and numerically in a stochastic setting. We find significant valuation effects from the tax protection afforded by the equity basis. The tax savings are on the order of 40-50\% of the taxes paid by the shareholders of firm that distributes cash through dividends, and the cost of capital is reduced by approximately .8 to 1.2 percentage points through the use of repurchases relative to dividends.

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Related works:
Journal Article: The personal-tax advantages of equity (2003) Downloads
Working Paper: The Personal Tax Advantage of Equity (2000) Downloads
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