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Petroleum Tax Reform Proposals in Norway and Denmark

Diderik Lund

Year: 2002
Volume: Volume23
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol23-No4-2
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During the past two years similar petroleum tax reforms have been proposed in Norway and Denmark. Both were based on results on neutral taxation derived by Boadway and Bruce (1984) and Fane (1987). In this paper the main features of the proposals are presented, and important problems of implementation are highlighted. Topics for further research are pointed out also. While the risk characteristics of tax deductions caused major disagreements between experts and oil companies, the after-tax cost of capital for risk free cash flows is a question less clearly resolved within the economics literature. Another topic for disagreement is value additivity, disputed by the companies.

Taxation and Investment Decisions in Petroleum

Graham A. Davis and Diderik Lund

Year: 2018
Volume: Volume 39
Number: Number 6
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.39.6.gdav
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When governments apply high tax rates targeted at natural resource rent, there must be generous deductions in order to avoid investment disincentives. How generous is disputed. Based on standard finance theory and recommendations from the OECD and the IMF, the value that firms attach to future deductions depends on the risks of these, and the companies' after-tax weighted-average cost of capital cannot be applied directly. As an example, a simple model quantifies the difference between pre-tax and post-tax systematic risk when tax deductions are less risky than pre-tax cash flows. Osmundsen et al. (2015) suggest that the difference must be ignored by oil companies, since they cannot find the separate market values of tax deductions. But companies operating in different jurisdictions cannot then appreciate differences in tax systems, not even approximately, which will lead to suboptimal decisions. Tax designers may instead assume that companies have gradually adopted more sophisticated methods of investment decision making.

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