Are small business owners more successful in avoiding taxes: Evidence from Sweden
AbstractIt is commonly argued that high tax rates motivate individuals to start a business as it is easier to avoid and evade taxes if self-employed compared to employed. If this is the case we would expect small business owners to be more responsive to tax rate changes than employees. This study investigates how responsive existing small business owners are to tax rate changes by estimating the elasticities of taxable income, gross income and reported income from business ventures for small business owners and contrast them to corresponding elasticities for employees. This is done by using a particularly rich Swedish data set and the 1990/91 Swedish tax reform as a “natural experiment”. I find that small business owners’ taxable income is about twice as responsive to tax rate changes than employees’. When it comes to reported income from business ventures the difference between small business owners and employees are even greater. For gross disposable income, however, business owners are not more responsive. This is consistent with the hypothesis that small business owners have greater means to shift income between different income sources in order to avoid taxation.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Lund University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2009:6.
Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 19 Apr 2009
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund,Sweden
Phone: +46 +46 222 0000
Fax: +46 +46 2224613
Web page: http://www.nek.lu.se/en
More information through EDIRC
Taxable income elasticities; tax avoidance;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
- H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-04-25 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENT-2009-04-25 (Entrepreneurship)
- NEP-PBE-2009-04-25 (Public Economics)
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Where most of tax avoidance happens: small business owners
by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-06-17 08:24:00
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