Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Die relative Steuerlast mittelständischer Kapitalgesellschaften

Gebhardt, Heinz and Siemers, Lars-H. R. (2011): Die relative Steuerlast mittelständischer Kapitalgesellschaften.

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Statistical offices do not provide sufficiently disaggregated tax statistics for calculating the relative tax burden of SMEs. We estimate the respective average and median tax burden of small, medium-sized and big corporations in Germany for the period 1998 to 2007 using enterprises micro panel data by applying OLS and quantile regression techniques. We find that the average tax burden levied on profit over the ten years was about 24%, and thus lower than forward-looking techniques suggest. The majority of small corporations did bear a significantly lower burden than the residual bigger corporations. We also provide evidence that medium-sized corporations faced a significantly higher median tax burden than big corporation. This implies an inverse U-shaped trajectory of median tax burden with respect to size of enterprise. Presumably big corporations are internationally operating and hence have more opportunities to manipulate the tax base. Hence, medium-sized corporations seem to have been disadvantaged to big corporations within the German corporation tax. Finally, the size of tax relief provided by the “Tax Reform 2000” was correlated positively with size of enterprise. This size-dependent tax burden identifies a so far neglected type of tax distortion. Future tax reforms hence also have to address size neutrality.

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