The debt-equity bias is present in many tax systems since a significant number of decades: while interest is tax deductible, the return on equity is subject to tax at the corporate level and may be taxed again at the personal level. The recent financial and economic crisis has clearly made the point the excessive leverage may be damaging, so there is a renewed interest in the consequence of the debt-Equity bias. This article sets out the main solutions for the debt-equity bias that have been suggested in the economic literature. We nest present the Belgian and Italian reforms: both counties have introduced an Allowance for Corporate Equity (ACE) but the design of the allowance is very different. We describe the two reforms and some elements of assessment, and next conclude on the what we could learn from that comparison for the future of the ACE in Belgium.
- Allowance for corporate equity
- Debt-Equity bias
- Tax policy