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Getting the word out: Enforcement information dissemination and compliance behavior

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Author Info

  • Alm, James
  • Jackson, Betty R.
  • McKee, Michael

Abstract

The question for the tax authority is how individuals become aware of enforcement effort. To be an effective tool in reducing tax evasion taxpayers must be aware of the current audit and penalty regime. We use laboratory experiments to examine the compliance impact of types of information dissemination regarding audit frequency and results. The information includes "official" information disseminated by the tax authority, and "unofficial", or informal, communications among taxpayers. Our results indicate that the effect of the type of post-audit information is conditional on whether the taxpayer is well informed of the audit rate prior to filing. We find that the tax authority would be served by pre-announcing audit rates credibly and by emphasizing the previous period audit frequency in annual reporting of enforcement effort.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 93 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3-4 (April)
Pages: 392-402

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:93:y:2009:i:3-4:p:392-402

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

Related research

Keywords: Tax compliance Tax audits Social norms;

References

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  1. Alm, James & Jackson, Betty & McKee, Michael, 1992. "Institutional Uncertainty and Taxpayer Compliance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 1018-26, September.
  2. Slemrod, Joel & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2002. "Tax avoidance, evasion, and administration," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 22, pages 1423-1470 Elsevier.
  3. Alm, James & McKee, Michael, 2006. "Audit Certainty, Audit Productivity, and Taxpayer Compliance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 59(4), pages 801-16, December .
  4. Slemrod, Joel & Blumenthal, Marsha & Christian, Charles, 2001. "Taxpayer response to an increased probability of audit: evidence from a controlled experiment in Minnesota," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 455-483, March.
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  7. Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1993. "Monetary Rewards and Decision Cost in Experimental Economics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(2), pages 245-61, April.
  8. Reinganum, Jennifer F & Wilde, Louis L, 1988. "A Note on Enforcement Uncertainty and Taxpayer Compliance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(4), pages 793-98, November.
  9. Erard, Brian & Feinstein, Jonathan S, 1994. "The Role of Moral Sentiments and Audit Perceptions in Tax Compliance," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 49(Supplemen), pages 70-89.
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  11. Andreoni, J. & Erard, B. & Feinstein, J., 1996. "Tax Compliance," Working papers 9610, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  12. Frank A. Cowell, 1990. "Cheating the Government: The Economics of Evasion," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262532484, January.
  13. Becker, Winfried & Buchner, Heinz-Jurgen & Sleeking, Simon, 1987. "The impact of public transfer expenditures on tax evasion : An experimental approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 243-252, November.
  14. Jeffrey A. Dubin, 2007. "Criminal Investigation Enforcement Activities and Taxpayer Noncompliance," Public Finance Review, , vol. 35(4), pages 500-529, July.
  15. Brian Erard & Jonathan Feinstein, 1994. "The Role of Moral Sentiments and Audit Perceptions in Tax Compliance," Carleton Industrial Organization Research Unit (CIORU) 94-03, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
  16. Alm, James & McKee, Michael, 2004. "Tax compliance as a coordination game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 297-312, July.
  17. 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.
  18. Alm, James & McClelland, Gary H. & Schulze, William D., 1992. "Why do people pay taxes?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 21-38, June.
  19. Bernasconi, Michele, 1998. "Tax evasion and orders of risk aversion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 123-134, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Galbiati, Roberto & Zanella, Giulio, 2012. "The tax evasion social multiplier: Evidence from Italy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 485-494.
  2. Doerrenberg, Philipp & Duncan, Denvil, 2012. "Experimental Evidence on the Relationship between Tax Evasion Opportunities and Labor Supply," IZA Discussion Papers 6914, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Ibanez, Marcela & Martinsson, Peter, 2013. "Curbing coca cultivation in Colombia — A framed field experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 1-10.
  4. James, Simon & Edwards, Alison, 2010. "An annotated bibliography of tax compliance and tax compliance costs," MPRA Paper 26106, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Gonzalez, Fidel & Leipnik, Mark & Mazumder, Diya, 2013. "How much are urban residents in Mexico willing to pay for cleaner air?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(03), pages 354-379, June.
  6. Annette Alstadsæter & Martin Jacob, 2013. "The effect of awareness and incentives on tax evasion," Working Papers 1314, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  7. Tan, Fangfang & Yim, Andrew, 2010. "Deterrence Effects of Auditing Rules: An Experimental Study," MPRA Paper 27859, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Kjetil Telle, 2012. "Monitoring and enforcement of environmental regulations. Lessons from a natural field experiment in Norway," Discussion Papers 680, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  9. Fangfang Tan & Andrew Yim, 2011. "Can Strategic Uncertainty Help Deter Tax Evasion? – An Experiment on Auditing Rules," Working Papers can_strategic_uncertainty, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
  10. Telle, Kjetil, 2013. "Monitoring and enforcement of environmental regulations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 24-34.
  11. Bruttel, Lisa & Friehe, Tim, 2014. "On the path dependence of tax compliance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 90-107.
  12. Ratto, Marisa & Gemmell, Norman, 2012. "Behavioral responses to taxpayer audits: Evidence from random taxpayer inquiries," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/11056, Paris Dauphine University.
  13. Doerrenberg, Philipp & Duncan, Denvil & Zeppenfeld, Christopher, 2014. "Circumstantial risk: Impact of future tax evasion and labor supply opportunities on risk exposure," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-014, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  14. Doerrenberg, Philipp & Duncan, Denvil & Zeppenfeld, Christopher, 2014. "Circumstantial Risk: Impact of Future Tax Evasion and Labor Supply Opportunities on Risk Exposure," IZA Discussion Papers 7917, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Friesen, Lana & Gangadharan, Lata, 2012. "Individual level evidence of dishonesty and the gender effect," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 624-626.
  16. Lana Friesen & Dietrich Earnhart, 2012. "Environmental Management Responses to Punishment: Specific Deterrence and Certainty versus Severity of Punishment," Discussion Papers Series 463, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.

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