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Trading Off Tax Distortion and Tax Evasion

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  • WOLFRAM F. RICHTER
  • ROBIN W. BOADWAY

Abstract

Income tax evasion is modeled as a risky activity and integrated into a standard optimal tax problem in which there is a good whose sales are observable. If the penalty for evasion is proportional to the tax evaded (the Yitzhaki scheme), the optimal tax structure is unaffected by evasion. If the penalty is proportional to unreported income (the Allingham-Sandmo scheme), it is efficient to tax both the observable good and income. The cost of the risk of tax evasion is traded off against the distortion from taxing the observable good. For equal penalties, Allingham/Sandmo is more efficient than Yitzhaki. Copyright 2005 Blackwell Publishing Inc..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Association for Public Economic Theory in its journal Journal of Public Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 7 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (08)
Pages: 361-381

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:7:y:2005:i:3:p:361-381

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  1. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  2. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1972. "The structure of indirect taxation and economic efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 97-119, April.
  3. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
  4. Marhuenda, Francisco & Ortuno-Ortin, Ignacio, 1997. " Tax Enforcement Problems," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(1), pages 61-72, March.
  5. Robin Boadway & Motohiro Sato, 2000. "The Optimality of Punishing Only the Innocent: The Case of Tax Evasion," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 7(6), pages 641-664, December.
  6. Sandmo, Agnar, 1974. "A Note on the Structure of Optimal Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(4), pages 701-06, September.
  7. 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.
  8. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1993. "Tax evasion and optimal commodity taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 261-275, February.
  9. Chander, Parkash & Wilde, Louis L, 1998. "A General Characterization of Optimal Income Tax Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 165-83, January.
  10. Dominik H. Enste & Friedrich Schneider, 2000. "Shadow Economies: Size, Causes, and Consequences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 77-114, March.
  11. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1996. "Tax evasion and the optimum general income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 235-249, May.
  12. Frank A. Cowell, 1990. "Cheating the Government: The Economics of Evasion," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262532484, December.
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Cited by:
  1. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:8:y:2004:i:5:p:1-9 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Pestel, Nico & Sommer, Eric, 2013. "Shifting Taxes from Labor to Consumption: Efficient, but Regressive?," IZA Discussion Papers 7804, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Werner Güth & Rupert Sausgruber, 2004. "Tax Morale and Optimal Taxation," CESifo Working Paper Series 1284, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Neumärker, Bernhard & Pech, Gerald, 2010. "Penalties in the theory of equilibrium tax evasion: Solving King John's problem," The Constitutional Economics Network Working Papers 01-2010, University of Freiburg, Department of Economic Policy and Constitutional Economic Theory.
  5. Simonovits, András, 2010. "Adómorál és adórendszer
    [Tax morality and progressive wage tax]
    ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(6), pages 481-496.
  6. Wolfram F. Richter, 2007. "Geplante Steuerhinterziehung und ihre effiziente Bestrafung," RWI Materialien, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, pages 31, 08.
  7. Dhami, Sanjit & Al-Nowaihi, Ali, 2010. "Optimal taxation in the presence of tax evasion: Expected utility versus prospect theory," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 313-337, August.
  8. Robert Ullmann & Christoph Watrin, 2008. "Comparing Direct and Indirect Taxation: The Influence of Framing on Tax Compliance," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 5(1), pages 23-56, June.

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