America’s Underground Economy: Measuring the Size, Growth and Determinants of Income Tax Evasion in the U.S
AbstractAbstract This study empirically investigates the extent of non compliance with the tax code and the determinants of federal income tax evasion in the U.S. Employing the most recent data we find that 18-19% of total reportable income is not properly reported to the IRS, giving rise to a “tax gap” approaching $500 billion dollars. Three time periods are studied, 1960-2008, 1970-2008, and 1980-2008. It is found across study periods that income tax evasion is an increasing function of the average effective federal income tax rate, the unemployment rate, public dissatisfaction with government, and per capita real GDP (adopted as a measure of income), and a decreasing function of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (during its first two years of being implemented). Modest evidence of a negative impact of IRS audit rates on tax evasion is also detected.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 29672.
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Underground economy; unreported economy; tax evasion; tax gap; non compliance; Federal income tax;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- O17 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
- E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
- E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
- H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion
- E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ACC-2011-03-26 (Accounting & Auditing)
- NEP-ALL-2011-03-26 (All new papers)
- NEP-PBE-2011-03-26 (Public Economics)
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