The Initial Impact of the 2003 Reduction in the Dividend Tax Rate
38 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2003
Date Written: October 2004
The Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 reduces the maximum statutory personal tax rate on dividends from 38.1 percent to 15 percent. This study analyzes dividend declarations in the quarters surrounding passage. We find dramatic increases in regular dividends and special dividends after enactment and a decline in share repurchases. We find some evidence that the firms changing their distribution patterns are owned disproportionately by insiders. This finding is consistent with manager-owners modifying the firm's dividend policy to reflect the new tax-advantaged status of dividend income for individual investors.
Keywords: dividends, taxes, individual ownership
JEL Classification: M41, G35, G32, H24
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation