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The Reform and Design of Commodity Taxes in the Presence of Tax Evasion with Illustrative Evidence from India

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  • Ray, R.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

The literature on tax evasion and its implication for optimal tax theory has concentrated on income tax evasion. The issue of commodity tax evasion has received relatively little attention even though it is important in many cases, especially in developing countries. This paper proposes a theory of marginal reform of indirect taxes that recognises the presence of commodity tax evasion. Illustrative evidence from Indian data confirm the sensitivity of the Pareto improving direction of marginal tax changes to alternative a priori assumptions on commodity tax evasion. The theory of marginal reform of commodity taxes is, then, extended to propose a theory of marginal reform of audits and penalties, and several propositions are derived. The underlying theory of tax design is also extended to include income tax design and income tax evasion, and a framework is proposed to allow the simultaneous analyses of both forms of tax evasion, and study of their impact on the "optimal mix" of direct and indirect taxes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 1994-108.

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Date of creation: 1994
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:1994108

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  1. Sandmo, Agnar, 1981. "Income tax evasion, labour supply, and the equity--efficiency tradeoff," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 265-288, December.
  2. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1992. "Tax Evasion and the Structure of Indirect Taxes and Audit Probabilities," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 47(Supplemen), pages 351-65.
  3. Kesselman, Jonathan R, 1993. "Evasion Effects of Changing the Tax Mix," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 69(205), pages 131-48, June.
  4. Virmani, Arvind, 1989. "Indirect tax evasion and production efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 223-237, July.
  5. Gordon, Roger H, 1983. "An Optimal Taxation Approach to Fiscal Federalism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 567-86, November.
  6. Ray, Ranjan, 1985. "A dynamic analysis of expenditure patterns in rural India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 283-297, December.
  7. Usher, Dan, 1986. "Tax Evasion and the Marginal Cost of Public Funds," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 24(4), pages 563-86, October.
  8. Kaplow, Louis, 1990. "Optimal taxation with costly enforcement and evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 221-236, November.
  9. 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.
  10. Lemieux, Thomas & Fortin, Bernard & Frechette, Pierre, 1994. "The Effect of Taxes on Labor Supply in the Underground Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 231-54, March.
  11. Ahmad, Ehtisham & Stern, Nicholas, 1984. "The theory of reform and indian indirect taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 259-298, December.
  12. Decoster, Andre & Schokkaert, Erik, 1990. "Tax reform results with different demand systems," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 277-296, April.
  13. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1993. "Tax evasion and optimal commodity taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 261-275, February.
  14. Srinivasan, T. N., 1973. "Tax evasion: A model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 339-346.
  15. Murty, M N & Ray, Ranjan, 1989. " A Computational Procedure for Calculating Optimal Commodity Taxes with Illustrative Evidence from Indian Budget Data," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(4), pages 655-70.
  16. Ray, Ranjan, 1986. "Sensitivity of `optimal' commodity tax rates to alternative demand functional forms : An econometric case study of India," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 253-268, November.
  17. Marrelli, Massimo, 1984. "On indirect tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 181-196, November.
  18. Dixit, Avinash K & Sandmo, Angar, 1977. " Some Simplified Formulae for Optimal Income Taxation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 79(4), pages 417-23.
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