Accounting Papers

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

12-2015

Publication Source

Review of Accounting Studies

Volume

20

Issue

4

Start Page

1334

Last Page

1372

DOI

10.1007/s11142-015-9323-1

Abstract

We provide a new explanation for cross-sectional variation in dividend tax capitalization. Our analysis is twofold. First, we conduct a theoretical analysis that shows that liquidity (illiquidity) mitigates (magnifies) the positive effect of dividend taxes on expected rates of return documented in prior literature. Second, we conduct an empirical analysis centered around the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief and Reconciliation Act of 2003, which reduced the difference between the maximum statutory dividend and capital gains tax rates, and find results consistent with our theory. We also provide results suggesting that institutional ownership’s mitigating effect on dividend tax capitalization documented in prior studies is attributable to stocks with greater institutional ownership being more liquid and not to the “marginal investor” being insensitive to dividend taxes.

Keywords

dividend taxes, liquidity, tax capitalization, expected rate of return

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Date Posted: 27 November 2017

This document has been peer reviewed.