Friday, June 26, 2009
Rafael Efrat (California State University-Northridge, College of Business and Economics) has published The Tax Burden and the Propensity of Small-Business Entrepreneurs to File For Bankruptcy, 4 Hastings Bus. L.J. 175 (2008). Here is the Conclusion:
Consistent with the growing tax burden on small-business owners, as well as the growing body of evidence linking higher tax burden with limited entrepreneurial growth and higher closure rates, this study has found that tax problems constitute an important reason for bankruptcy filings for a sizable number of entrepreneurs. Interestingly, those entrepreneurs that attribute their business collapse to tax problems do not come from disadvantageous background. Instead, the average entrepreneur in the bankruptcy sample that has faulted tax problems for his financial woes was typically older male, white, native-born, well-educated and an experienced business owner. Nonetheless, the typical entrepreneur with tax problem in the bankruptcy sample was facing enormously higher debt burden with more than five times as much debts as other entrepreneurs in the bankruptcy sample.
While this study confirmed the prevalence of tax problems as a cause of business failure, it did not ascertain the exact nature of the tax problems faced by many of these entrepreneurs in bankruptcy. Future research might explore the pervasiveness and the nature of tax debts among bankruptcy petitioners; ascertain the amount of tax debt bankruptcy entrepreneurs typically report at the time of bankruptcy filing; identify the tax burden at the time of bankruptcy filing relative to outstanding debt and income of the petitioners; and determine the characteristics of bankruptcy petitioners that tend to report tax obligations.