Journal of
Accounting and Taxation

  • Abbreviation: J. Account. Taxation
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6664
  • DOI: 10.5897/JAT
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 204

Full Length Research Paper

Robot taxation: The scrapping of automated checkout machines

Bret Bogenschneider
  • Bret Bogenschneider
  • Department of Accounting and Economics, Western Illinois University, United States.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 10 January 2024
  •  Accepted: 08 April 2024
  •  Published: 31 May 2024


This paper examines the recent trend among major retailers to scrap self-checkout machines in favor of returning to human cashiers, exploring the underlying reasons beyond customer dissatisfaction and inventory shrinkage. Through quantitative analysis of tax incentive reversals and their impact on capital investment decisions, we investigate the role of tax policy changes, specifically the expiration of accelerated depreciation benefits, in prompting this shift. The findings reveal a strategic alignment with big-bath accounting write-offs, allowing companies to consolidate expenses and minimize book depreciation impacts. The paper contributes to the robot taxation literature by using a multidisciplinary approach of accounting methodology and tax technical analysis to highlight the financial accounting implications of de-automation and suggesting an understanding of tax policy's influence on technological adoption in the retail sector.


Key words: Automation, robot tax, tax policy.