Corporate Ownership and Control in the UK: The Tax Dimension
Posted: 11 Sep 2007
While generally the impact tax has on patterns of corporate ownership and control has received little attention in the relevant academic literature, this paper argues that tax is potentially an important determinant of ownership patterns in large companies. The paper focuses on historical developments in Britain, where an outsider/arm's-length system of corporate governance took shape during the twentieth century and became fully entrenched by the end of the 1970s. Taxes imposed on corporate profits, taxation of managerial and investment income and inheritance taxes help to explain why during this period blockholders sought to exit and why there was sufficient demand for shares among investors to permit ownership to separate from control.
Keywords: corporate ownership, tax developments in Britain, corporate profits, taxation of managerial and investment income, inheritance taxes
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