Permanent and Transitory Responses to Capital Gains Taxes: Evidence from a Lifetime Exemption in Canada

88 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2021 Last revised: 16 Jan 2024

See all articles by Adam Lavecchia

Adam Lavecchia

McMaster University; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Alisa Tazhitdinova

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)

Multiple version iconThere are 5 versions of this paper

Date Written: Dec 11, 2021

Abstract

Using panel data on a 20% random sample of Canadian taxpayers, we study behavioral responses to the cancellation of a lifetime capital gains exemption that resulted in increased capital gains taxation for some individuals. The unique setting allows us to distinguish between short-term avoidance responses and permanent responses to capital gains taxes. We show that the exemption did not change the number of taxpayers reporting positive capital gains, and thus unlikely resulted in increased participation in capital markets. Furthermore, our results suggest that the cancellation increased the long-run capital gains realizations of tax filers with more un- used exemption room but had a small, statistically insignificant impact on the capital gains realizations of those with little unused exemption room.

Keywords: capital gains tax, real responses, avoidance, re-timing

JEL Classification: H24, H31, G51

Suggested Citation

Lavecchia, Adam and Tazhitdinova, Alisa, Permanent and Transitory Responses to Capital Gains Taxes: Evidence from a Lifetime Exemption in Canada (Dec 11, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3764126 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3764126

Adam Lavecchia

McMaster University ( email )

1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4M4
Canada
905-525-9140 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Alisa Tazhitdinova (Contact Author)

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) ( email )

South Hall 5504
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Downloads
132
Abstract Views
1,095
Rank
267,414
PlumX Metrics