Escape or Play Again? How Retiring Entrepreneurs Respond to the Wealth Tax
44 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2021
Date Written: December 1, 2020
We investigate the impact of wealth taxation on the behavior of entrepreneurs in France. Before 2018, business sales triggered the conversion of tax-exempt business assets into taxable wealth. Using personal tax data, we confirm that retirement of entrepreneurs leads to large annual wealth tax payments. There is no evidence of higher expatriation by entrepreneurs following retirement, but their take-up of tax-favored investments in SMEs increases. The elasticity of such investments to the tax increase is far higher than for charity donations. These investments fall after financial wealth becomes tax-exempt in 2018. This evidence suggests that a wealth tax, combined with tax-favored investment schemes, may have encouraged former entrepreneurs to reinvest their wealth in SMEs.
Keywords: Wealth taxes, private firms, fiscal policy
JEL Classification: H20, H31, H32, E21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation