Where Has the Currency Gone? And Why? The Underground Economy and Personal Income Tax Evasion in the U.S., 1970-2008
AbstractUnaccounted for currency in the U.S. is argued to reflect the presence of widespread income tax evasion. This empirical study seeks to identify determinants of the underground economy in the U.S. in the form of federal personal income tax evasion over the period 1970-2008. In this study, we use the most recent data available on personal income tax evasion, data that are derived from the General Currency Ratio Model and measured in the form of the ratio of unreported AGI (adjusted gross income) to reported AGI. Other studies of federal income tax evasion for the U.S. are dated and do not use data this current. It is found that personal income tax evasion was an increasing function of the maximum marginal federal personal income tax rate, the percentage of federal personal income tax returns characterized by itemized deductions, and unpopular military engagements, in this case, the War in Iraq, and a decreasing function of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (during its first two years of being implemented), the ratio of the tax free interest rate yield on high grade municipals to the interest rate yield on ten year Treasury notes (as a measure of the incentive effect of a better return to tax avoidance, which is legal), and higher audit rates of filed federal income tax returns (as a measure of risk from tax evasion) by IRS personnel.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 55284.
Date of creation: 12 Apr 2014
Date of revision:
underground economy; tax evasion; tax rates; audit rates;
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
- H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ACC-2014-04-18 (Accounting & Auditing)
- NEP-ALL-2014-04-18 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2014-04-18 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-IUE-2014-04-18 (Informal & Underground Economics)
- NEP-LAW-2014-04-18 (Law & Economics)
- NEP-PBE-2014-04-18 (Public Economics)
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