Abstract

Safe harbor leasing has been heralded as a method to transfer the benefits of the investment tax credit and accelerated depreciation to firms that pay little or no income tax, and thereby to equalize the ability of taxpaying and nontaxpaying finns to obtain these benefits. Professors Warren and Auerbach argue, however, that although there are a number of ways to define this kind of "competitive neutrality," the fictional leases required by current law implement none of those definitions. In addition, they argue that the fiction of leasing has undesirable collateral consequences that need not accompany a program of transferability of tax benefits.

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