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Auditing with Signals

  • Macho-Stadler, Ines
  • Perez-Castrillo, J David

This paper is a first step in analysing the use of statistical information about taxpayers' incomes by tax audit authorities. In a very simple model, we consider the design of the audit strategy when the tax authority can commit to it and has free access to a signal correlated with the taxpayer's true income. We discuss the optimal enforcement policy and compare it with the optimal one when only self-reported income is considered. Our main result postulates that the well-known regressive bias of revenue-maximizing audit rules may be reversed into a progressive one when signals are used. Copyright 2002 by The London School of Economics and Political Science

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Article provided by London School of Economics and Political Science in its journal Economica.

Volume (Year): 69 (2002)
Issue (Month): 273 (February)
Pages: 1-20

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Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:69:y:2002:i:273:p:1-20
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  1. Cremer, H. & Marchand, M. & Pestieau, P., 1988. "Evading, auditing and taxing: the equity-compliance tradeoff," CORE Discussion Papers 1988027, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. repec:att:wimass:9610 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & James R. Hines, Jr., 1999. "Understanding Tax Evasion Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 6903, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Frank A. Cowell, 1990. "Cheating the Government: The Economics of Evasion," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262532484, June.
  5. Sanchez, Isabel & Sobel, Joel, 1993. "Hierarchical design and enforcement of income tax policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 345-369, March.
  6. Alm, James & Bahl, Roy & Murray, Matthew N., 1993. "Audit selection and income tax underreporting in the tax compliance game," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-33, October.
  7. Chander, Parkash & Wilde, Louis L, 1998. "A General Characterization of Optimal Income Tax Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 165-83, January.
  8. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Mark Rider, 2003. "Multiple Modes of Tax Evasion: Theory and Evidence from the TCMP," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0306, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  9. James Andreoni & Brian Erard & Jonathan Feinstein, 1998. "Tax Compliance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 818-860, June.
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