Effects of Taxation: Executive Compensation and Retirement Plans

By Challis A. Hall Jr. | Go to book overview

Foreword

THIS IS the third volume to be published in the general study of the effects of taxation on business conducted through the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, financed by a grant from the Merrill Foundation for Advancement of Financial Knowledge. Like the other books in the series, Professor Hall's analysis of the effects of taxation on corporate compensation and retirement plans is a specialized investigation of a significant aspect of business on which federal taxation has had, or may be presumed to have had, an important bearing.

The development of a professional management group, the members of which rely on compensation rather than on business ownership as the basis for their personal financial well- being, has been a notable feature in American business. At the very time when compensation has become especially important to executives, the high tax rates in the middle and upper income brackets have made it extremely difficult to build up any appreciable capital sum out of savings. The interest in special forms of compensation plans accordingly is widespread and their importance is great, not only to the individuals directly concerned, but to the whole economy through their influence on the efficiency and growth of business concerns.

Various relevant changes in the tax law, through both statutory amendment and court decisions, have occurred during the past several years. Retirement plans were conspicuously encouraged, and stock options have been notably discouraged between 1946 and 1950. How have corporate procedures and policies regarding executive compensation been modified under the influence of taxation, and in turn, how have executives reacted to the various forms of tax- influenced compensation plans currently used? These are the questions with which this book is concerned.

Professor Hall has first undertaken to examine the various

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