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Apportionment, Fiscal Equalization and Decentralized Tax Enforcement

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  • Christian Traxler

    ()
    (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)

  • Andreas Reutter

    (University of Konstanz)

Abstract

We study tax evasion and decentralized tax enforcement in a federal economy with mobile capital and the endogenous formation of multiregional companies. Regions use their enforcement policy as a strategic instrument to engage in fiscal competition. Within this framework, we analyze the uncoordinated policy choice under formula apportionment (FA) and compare it to the incentives which derive from fiscal equalization (FE). As both systems redistribute collected revenues but not enforcement costs, they distort the regions' incentives to enforce taxes. At the same time, jurisdictions partially internalize the fiscal externalities caused by their enforcement policy. We show that the tradeoff between these two opposing effects differs between FA and FE, and crucially depends on the degree of interregional firm integration under FA. We discuss conditions under which FA, FE or a joint system of FA cum FE provides the ‘best’ incentives for decentralized tax enforcement.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in its series Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods with number 2008_21.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2008_21

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Keywords: Tax Enforcement; Tax Evasion; Formula Apportionment; Fiscal Equalization; Tax Revenue Sharing;

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References

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  1. Black, Dan A & Hoyt, William H, 1989. "Bidding for Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1249-56, December.
  2. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 2000. "Tax evasion, fiscal competition and economic integration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 1633-1657, October.
  3. WILDASIN, David E., . "Interjurisdictional capital mobility: Fiscal externality and a corrective subsidy," CORE Discussion Papers RP -831, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Rüdiger Pethig & Andreas Wagener, 2007. "Profit tax competition and formula apportionment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 14(6), pages 631-655, December.
  5. Büttner, Thiess, 2005. "The Incentive Effect of Fiscal Equalization Transfers on Tax Policy," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 37, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  6. Wilson, John D., 1986. "A theory of interregional tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 296-315, May.
  7. Christian Baretti & Bernd Huber & Karl Lichtblau, 2002. "A Tax on Tax Revenue: The Incentive Effects of Equalizing Transfers: Evidence from Germany," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 9(6), pages 631-649, November.
  8. Riedel, Nadine & Runkel, Marco, 2007. "Company tax reform with a water's edge," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1533-1554, August.
  9. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
  10. Bev Dahlby & Neil Warren, 2003. "Fiscal Incentive Effects of the Australian Equalisation System," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 79(247), pages 434-445, December.
  11. Marko Köthenbürger, 2002. "Tax Competition and Fiscal Equalization," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 391-408, August.
  12. Joel Slemrod, 2007. "Cheating Ourselves: The Economics of Tax Evasion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 25-48, Winter.
  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. Sven Stö & Christian Traxler, 2005. "Tax Evasion and Auditing in a Federal Economy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 515-531, August.
  15. Wolfgang Eggert & Guttorm Schjelderup, 2003. "Symmetric Tax Competition under Formula Apportionment," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 5(2), pages 439-446, 04.
  16. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Andrey Timofeev, 2005. "Choosing between Centralized and Decentralized Models of Tax Administration," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0502, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  17. Baretti, Christian & Huber, Bernd & Lichtblau, Karl, 2002. "A Tax on Tax Revenue: The Incentive Effects of Equalizing Transfers: Evidence from Germany," Munich Reprints in Economics 20129, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  18. Michael Smart, 1998. "Taxation and Deadweight Loss in a System of Intergovernmental Transfers," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(1), pages 189-206, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Caterina Liesegang & Marco Runkel, 2009. "Corporate Income Taxation of Multinationals and Fiscal Equalization," FEMM Working Papers 09028, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.

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