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Trading Off Tax Distortion and Tax Evasion

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  • WOLFRAM F. RICHTER
  • ROBIN W. BOADWAY

Abstract

Income tax evasion is modeled as a risky activity and integrated into a standard optimal tax problem in which there is a good whose sales are observable. If the penalty for evasion is proportional to the tax evaded (the Yitzhaki scheme), the optimal tax structure is unaffected by evasion. If the penalty is proportional to unreported income (the Allingham-Sandmo scheme), it is efficient to tax both the observable good and income. The cost of the risk of tax evasion is traded off against the distortion from taxing the observable good. For equal penalties, Allingham/Sandmo is more efficient than Yitzhaki. Copyright 2005 Blackwell Publishing Inc..

Suggested Citation

  • Wolfram F. Richter & Robin W. Boadway, 2005. "Trading Off Tax Distortion and Tax Evasion," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 7(3), pages 361-381, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:7:y:2005:i:3:p:361-381
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robin Boadway & Motohiro Sato, 2000. "The Optimality of Punishing Only the Innocent: The Case of Tax Evasion," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 7(6), pages 641-664, December.
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    10. Marhuenda, Francisco & Ortuno-Ortin, Ignacio, 1997. " Tax Enforcement Problems," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(1), pages 61-72, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kalkuhl, Matthias & Fernandez Milan, Blanca & Schwerhoff, Gregor & Jakob, Michael & Hahnen, Maren & Creutzig, Felix, 2017. "Fiscal Instruments for Sustainable Development: The Case of Land Taxes," MPRA Paper 78652, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Neumärker, Bernhard & Pech, Gerald, 2010. "Penalties in the theory of equilibrium tax evasion: Solving King John's problem," The Constitutional Economics Network Working Papers 01-2010, University of Freiburg, Department of Economic Policy and Constitutional Economic Theory.
    3. Gabriela S. Pantoja & Rodrigo S. Penaloza, 2014. "Tax evasion under behavioral structures," Economia, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics], vol. 15(1), pages 30-40.
    4. Werner Gueth & Rupert Sausgruber, 2004. "Tax Morale and Optimal Taxation," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2004-12, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    5. Pestel, Nico & Sommer, Eric, 2013. "Shifting Taxes from Labor to Consumption: Efficient, but Regressive?," IZA Discussion Papers 7804, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Nico Pestel & Eric Sommer, 2017. "Shifting Taxes from Labor to Consumption: More Employment and more Inequality?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 63(3), pages 542-563, September.
    7. repec:zbw:rwimat:037 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Richter, Wolfram F., 2007. "Geplante Steuerhinterziehung und ihre effiziente Bestrafung," RWI Materialien 37, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
    9. Simonovits, András, 2010. "Adómorál és adórendszer
      [Tax morality and progressive wage tax]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(6), pages 481-496.
    10. Wolfram F. Richter, 2007. "Geplante Steuerhinterziehung und ihre effiziente Bestrafung," RWI Materialien, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, pages 31, 08.
    11. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:8:y:2004:i:5:p:1-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Andras Simonovits, 2010. "Tax Morality and Progressive Wage Tax," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1005, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    13. Radulescu, Doina & Feger, Fabian, 2017. "One vs. Two Instruments for Redistribution: The Case of Public Utility Pricing," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168138, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    14. Dhami, Sanjit & Al-Nowaihi, Ali, 2010. "Optimal taxation in the presence of tax evasion: Expected utility versus prospect theory," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 313-337, August.
    15. Robert Ullmann & Christoph Watrin, 2008. "Comparing Direct and Indirect Taxation: The Influence of Framing on Tax Compliance," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 5(1), pages 23-56, June.

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