Valuation Effects of Recent Corporate Dividend and Income Trust Distribution Tax Changes

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Description: We analyze the valuation effects of the Canadian federal government's announcement on November 23, 2005 of a reduction in the taxation of corporate dividends and the announcement on October 31, 2006 of a plan to eliminate the tax-deductibility of income trust distributions. Though high dividend stocks and income trusts reacted positively to the 2005 announcement, the abnormal returns were greater for income trusts. Conversely, both securities reacted negatively to the 2006 announcement with the decline bigger for income trusts. The larger price reactions of income trusts and the lack of statistical significance in the cross-sectional tests of the abnormal returns suggest that the popularity of income trusts in Canada was mostly driven by their favourable income tax status. The implications of these findings for scholarship and for practice are discussed. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]
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