The Influence of Tax and Nontax Factors on Banks' Choice of Organizational Form Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • This paper identifies tax and nontax factors that influence commercial banks' conversion from taxable C-corporation to nontaxable S-corporation from 1997 to 1999, after a 1996 tax-law change allowed banks to convert to S-corporations for the first time. We find that banks are more likely to convert when conversion saves dividend taxes, avoids alternative minimum taxes, and minimizes state income taxes. Banks are less likely to convert when conversion restricts access to equity capital, nullifies corporate tax loss carry forwards, and creates potential penalty taxes on unrealized gains existing at the conversion date. Banks with significant deferred tax assets are less likely to convert, presumably because the write-off of deferred taxes at conversion decreases regulatory capital and exposes the bank to costly regulatory intervention. We also investigate the strategic choices banks make before converting to S-corporations. Converting banks alter their capital structures, deliberately sell appreciated assets, and strategically set dividends to augment net conversion benefits.

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Hodder, L., McAnally, M. L., & Weaver, C. D.

citation count

  • 28

publication date

  • January 2003