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Cost Uncertainty and Taxpayer Compliance

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  • Jordi Caballé

    ()

  • Judith Panadés

    ()

Abstract

The existence of a private cost borne by audited taxpayers affects the tax enforcement policy. This is so because tax auditors will face now two sources of uncertainty, namely, the typical one associated with taxpayers’ income and that associated with the taxpayers’ idiosyncratic attitude towards tax compliance. Moreover, the inspection policy can be exposed to some randomness from the taxpayers’ viewpoint due to the uncertainty about the audit cost borne by the tax authority. In this paper we provide an unified framework to analyze the effects of all these sources of uncertainty in a model of tax compliance with strategic interaction between auditors and taxpayers. We show that more variance in the distribution of the taxpayers’ private cost of evading raises both tax compliance and the ex-ante welfare of taxpayers. The effects of the uncertainty about the audit cost faced by the tax authority are generally ambiguous. We also discuss the implications of our model for the regressive (or progressive) bias of the effective tax system. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 12 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 239-263

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:12:y:2005:i:3:p:239-263

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102915

Related research

Keywords: tax evasion; audit cost;

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References

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  1. Reinganum, Jennifer F. & Wilde, Louis L., 1985. "Income tax compliance in a principal-agent framework," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-18, February.
  2. 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.
  3. Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1989. "Who profits from taxpayer confusion?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 49-55.
  4. Scotchmer, Suzanne & Slemrod, Joel, 1989. "Randomness in tax enforcement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 17-32, February.
  5. Alm, James & Bahl, Roy & Murray, Matthew N., 1993. "Audit selection and income tax underreporting in the tax compliance game," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-33, October.
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  11. Andreoni, J. & Erard, B. & Feinstein, J., 1996. "Tax Compliance," Working papers 9610r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
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  13. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1974. "Income tax evasion: A theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 201-202, May.
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  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Torgler, Benno, 2002. " Speaking to Theorists and Searching for Facts: Tax Morale and Tax Compliance in Experiments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(5), pages 657-83, December.
  18. Sanchez, Isabel & Sobel, Joel, 1993. "Hierarchical design and enforcement of income tax policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 345-369, March.
  19. Reinganum, Jennifer F & Wilde, Louis L, 1986. "Equilibrium Verification and Reporting Policies in a Model of Tax Compliance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(3), pages 739-60, October.
  20. 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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