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Corporate Income Taxation in Estonia. Is It Time to Abandon Dividend Taxation?

Karsten Staehr ()

No 9, TUT Economic Research Series from Department of Finance and Economics, Tallinn University of Technology

Abstract: Estonia introduced a new corporate income tax system in 2000, under which corporate profit is taxed only when it is paid out as dividends to shareholders. The switch to distributed profit or dividend taxation was billed as a means to attract investment, support enterprises and increase employment. This Research Brief summarises the experiences and compares with developments in Latvia and Lithuania. The reforms improved liquidity and reduced the debt financing in Estonian companies and may also have given rise to increased investment and productivity at the firm level. The results are, however, less encouraging at the macroeconomic level. The tax revenue as a percentage of GDP has been very low since the introduction of dividend taxation, even during the pre-crisis boom in 2004-2007, and there are no immediate effects on labour productivity and GDP growth. The conclusion is that the switch to distributed profit taxation has not improved the overall macroeconomic performance in Estonia despite the easing of financing conditions and lower corporate income tax revenue. Abstract in Estonian:Ettevõtete tulumaksustamine Eestis: Kas on aeg loobuda dividendide maksustamise süsteemist?Karsten StaehrEestis on alates 2000.a kehtinud ettevõtte tulumaksu süsteem, mille raames maksustatakse ettevõtete kasumit alles siis, kui see makstakse dividendidena välja omanikele. Jaotatud kasumi maksustamisele ülemineku eesmärgiks oli investeeringute muutmine atraktiivsemaks, ettevõtluse toetamine ning töökohtade loomine. Käesolev kirjutis annab ülevaate senistest kogemustest ning võrdluse arengutega Lätis ja Leedus. Maksureformi tulemusel paranes Eestis ettevõtete likviidsus ning vähenes võõrfinantseerimise kasutamine ning see võib olla kaasa toonud ka investeeringute ja tootlikkuse suurenemist ettevõtte tasandil. Samas on makromajanduslikud tulemused tagasihoidlikumad. Maksutulud protsendina SKTst on olnud alates tulumaksusüsteemi muutmisest väga madalal tasemel, kaasa arvatud kriisieelse buumi aastatel 2004-2007, ning maksureformi mõju tööjõu tootlikkusele ning SKT kasvule ei ole märgata. Võib järeldada, et üleminek jaotatud kasumi maksustamisele ei ole Eesti üldistele makromajanduslikele tulemustele kaasa aidanud vaatamata sellele, et ettevõtete finantseerimistingimused on leevenenud ning riigi tulud ettevõtte tulumaksust on vähenenud. Artikkel on PDF versioonis eesti keeles: vaatamiseks vali link Full Text: PDF

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-pub
Date: 2014-01-17
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