We study the tax regulations in relation to dividends and capital gains over the last two decades for the UK in order to determine whether changes in tax regimes affect corporate payout policy (dividends, share repurchases, or a combination). While we can identify investors? tax-driven preferences for a specific payout channel, we find no evidence of tax-induced clienteles.
Firms do indeed not cater to the tax preferences of their shareholders(including individuals, pension funds, corporations). Other factors, such as equity-based compensation received by the CEO and investor sentiment in the form of optimism reduce the dividend payout and increase the use of share repurchases.