Modeling continuous-time financial markets with capital gains taxes
Ben-Tahar, Imen and Soner, Halil Mete and Touzi, Nizar (2007) Modeling continuous-time financial markets with capital gains taxes. [Working Paper / Technical Report] Sabanci University ID:SU_FMAN_2007/0018
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We formulate a model of continuous-time financial market consisting of a bank account with constant interest rate and one risky asset subject to capital gains taxes. We consider the problem of maximizing expected utility from future consumption in infinite horizon. This is the continuous-time version of the model introduced by Dammon, Spatt and Zhang . The taxation rule is linear so that it allows for tax credits when capital gains losses are experienced. In this context, wash sales are optimal. Our main contribution is to derive lower and upper bounds on the value function in terms of the corresponding value in a tax-free and frictionless model. While the upper bound corresponds to the value function in a tax-free model, the lower bound is a consequence of wash sales. As an important implication of these bounds, we derive an explicit first order expansion of our value function for small interest rate and tax rate coefficients. In order to examine the accuracy of this approximation, we provide a characterization of the value function in terms of the associated dynamic programming equation, and we suggest a numerical approximation scheme based on finite differences and the Howard algorithm. The numerical results show that the first order Taylor expansion is reasonably accurate for reasonable market data.
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