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Svenska småföretags användning av reserveringar för resultatutjämning och intern finansiering
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
2006 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Swedish small firms’ utilization of allowances for income smoothing and internal financing (English)
Abstract [en]

Small firms often have inadequate access to the capital necessary for sucessful management. The Swedish Government introduced in the mid-1990s allowance rules that facilitate retention of profit for sole proprietorships and partnership firms. The tax credits arising from the allowances give certain benefits as a source of financing compared to traditional forms of credits. Among the more essential benefits are that the payment for some parts of the tax credit can be put on hold almost indefinitely, or alternatively never be paid. The firms are free to use these means, and the responsibility of future payment of the postponed tax debt stays with the individual firms. The comprehensive purpose of the dissertation may be stated as to increase the understanding of small Swedish firms, especially sole proprietorships, utilizing possibilities for allowances for income smoothing and internal financing. At the beginning the dissertation describes case studies, comprising a smaller selection of microfirms. With a starting-point from the accounted and reported income-tax returns, alternative calculations are made where additional positive tax and finance effects appear possible to obtain. One purpose of these studies is to increase the insight regarding the possibilities of income smoothing and internal financing that arise from utilizing these allowances.

These studies also illuminate, to what extent and in what way they are being used in reality. Another objective of these studies is to give a more substantive insight into the technics behind the different allowances, appropriation to positive or negative interest rate allocation appropriation or dissolving of tax allocation reserve appropriation or dissolving of “expansion fund” Theories regarding the creation of resources, through building of capital, and theories on financial planning and strategy are studied. The purpose is to find support for the choice of theoretical grounded underlying independent variables that can be used in cross-sectional studies to explain the use of the possibilities of appropriations. Theories of finance that are of greatest interest, in the operationalisation of these variables, are theories that discuss the choices of different financing alternatives for small firms. The “pecking order theory”, describes the firm’s order of priority when choices of finance alternatives are made. The concept of “financial bootstrapping” expands the frame for different forms of financing choices that especially very small firms have at their disposal.

The last part of the theoretical frame deals with the phenomenon of “income smoothing,” which can be translated as leveling out profits/losses. A number of financial and non-financial variables are supported by and operationalised from these financial theories e.g., return on sales, capital turnover, quick ratio and debt-to-equity ratio, respectively age, gender and line of business. Cross-sectional studies are implemented for the taxation years of 1996 and 1999, on databases that have been extracted from Statistics Sweden. The group of 87,276 sole proprietorships included in the study were required to complete tax returns and pay taxes for the business activity according to the supporting schedule, N2, information from the sole proprietorships’ income statement and balance sheet in an accounting statement that comes with the income tax return form. The possibilities of allowances are considered as dependent variables. The intention of the cross-sectional studies is to survey and describe the utilization of possible allowances, with the support of the financial and non-financial independent variables. The connection of these variables to the decision of sole proprietorships to appropriate to the tax allocation reserve is also summarized in a logistic regression model. A number of theoretically based propositions are made for the purpose of observing how the variables are connected to the chances that sole proprietorships actually appropriate to this form of allowance. Appropriation to the tax allocation reserve stands out as the most practiced form of allowance. The studies also clarify that utilization varies among different forms of allowances, but that not all firms that have the prerequisites to utilize the possibilities really do so to the full. A further utilization of the different possibilities of allowances is often conceivable. For the sole proprietorships that are not utilizing these possibilities, the allowances should be considered eligible as a contribution to internal financing and to increase access to capital.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet , 2006. , 238 p.
Studier i företagsekonomi. Serie B, ISSN 0346-8291 ; 57
Keyword [en]
allowance rules, tax credits, sole proprietorships, income smoothing, internal financing, tax allocation reserve, cross-sectional studies, financial and non-financial variables, logistic regression model.
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-680ISBN: 91-7264-024-3OAI: diva2:144217
Public defence
2006-02-17, HS 1031, Norra Beteendevetarhuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15
Available from: 2006-01-31 Created: 2006-01-31Bibliographically approved

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