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How Big Are the Tax Benefits of Debt?

How Big Are the Tax Benefits of Debt? I integrate under firm‐specific benefit functions to estimate that the capitalized tax benefit of debt equals 9.7 percent of firm value (or as low as 4.3 percent, net of personal taxes). The typical firm could double tax benefits by issuing debt until the marginal tax benefit begins to decline. I infer how aggressively a firm uses debt by observing the shape of its tax benefit function. Paradoxically, large, liquid, profitable firms with low expected distress costs use debt conservatively. Product market factors, growth options, low asset collateral, and planning for future expenditures lead to conservative debt usage. Conservative debt policy is persistent. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Finance Wiley

How Big Are the Tax Benefits of Debt?

The Journal of Finance , Volume 55 (5) – Oct 1, 2000

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References (78)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© American Finance Association
ISSN
0022-1082
eISSN
1540-6261
DOI
10.1111/0022-1082.00277
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

I integrate under firm‐specific benefit functions to estimate that the capitalized tax benefit of debt equals 9.7 percent of firm value (or as low as 4.3 percent, net of personal taxes). The typical firm could double tax benefits by issuing debt until the marginal tax benefit begins to decline. I infer how aggressively a firm uses debt by observing the shape of its tax benefit function. Paradoxically, large, liquid, profitable firms with low expected distress costs use debt conservatively. Product market factors, growth options, low asset collateral, and planning for future expenditures lead to conservative debt usage. Conservative debt policy is persistent.

Journal

The Journal of FinanceWiley

Published: Oct 1, 2000

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