Pietro Dallari, Mr. Nicolas End, Fedor Miryugin, Alexander F. Tieman, and Mr. Seyed Reza Yousefi
This paper investigates the role of tax incentives towards debt finance in the buildup of leverage in the nonfinancial corporate (NFC) sector, using a large firm-level dataset. We find that so-called debt bias is a significant driver of leverage, for both small and medium-sized enterprises and larger firms, with its effect accounting for about a quarter of leverage. The strength of this effect differs with firm size, the availability of collateral, income and income volatility, cash flow, and capital intensity. We conclude that leveling the playing field between debt and equity finance through tax policy reform would decrease NFC leverage, reducing economic risks posited by leverage.
The IMF Fiscal Affairs Department's Revenue Administration Gap Analysis Program (RA-GAP) aims to provide a quantitative analysis of the tax gap between potential revenues and actual collections, and this technical note explains the concept of the tax gap for corporate income tax (CIT), and the methodology to estimate CIT gaps. It includes detailed steps to derive the potential CIT base and liability with careful consideration for the theoretical differences between the coverage of statistical macroeconomic data and the actual tax base of CIT, and then compare the estimated results with actual declarations and revenues. Although the estimated gaps following the approach will have margins of errors, it has the advantage of using available data without additional costs of collection and suits initial evaluations of overall CIT noncompliance in a country.