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The Russian 'flat tax' reform

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Author Info

  • Anna Ivanova
  • Michael Keen
  • Alexander Klemm

Abstract

"In 2001, Russia dramatically reduced its higher rates of personal income tax (PIT), establishing a single marginal rate at the low level of 13%. In the following year, real revenue from the PIT increased by about 26%. This 'flat tax' experience has attracted much attention (and emulation), making it perhaps the most important tax reform of recent years. But it has been little studied. This paper asks whether the strong performance of PIT revenue was itself a consequence of this reform, using both macro evidence and, in particular, micro level data on the experiences of individuals and households affected by the reform to varying degrees. It concludes that there is no evidence of a strong supply side effect of the reform. Compliance, however, does appear to have improved quite substantially - by about one third, according to our estimates - though it remains unclear whether this was due to the parametric tax reform or to accompanying changes in enforcement." Copyright � CEPR, CES, MSH, 2005.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by CEPR & CES & MSH in its journal Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 20 (2005)
Issue (Month): 43 (07)
Pages: 397-444

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecpoli:v:20:y:2005:i:43:p:397-444

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References

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  1. Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & James R. Hines, Jr., 1999. "Understanding Tax Evasion Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 6903, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
  3. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Costas Meghir, 1998. "Estimating Labor Supply Responses Using Tax Reforms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(4), pages 827-862, July.
  4. Edgar L. Feige & Ivica Urban, 2003. "Estimating the Size and Growth of Unrecorded Economic Activity in Transition Countries: A Re-evaluation of Electric Consumption Method Estimates and their Implications," Macroeconomics 0311010, EconWPA.
  5. Friedman, Eric & Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 2000. "Dodging the grabbing hand: the determinants of unofficial activity in 69 countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 459-493, June.
  6. Roger H. Gordon & Joel Slemrod, 1998. "Are "Real" Responses to Taxes Simply Income Shifting Between Corporate and Personal Tax Bases?," NBER Working Papers 6576, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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