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Tax perceptions and preferences over tax structure in the united kingdom

  • Norman Gemmell
  • Oliver Morrissey
  • Abuzer Pinar

Do voters know their tax liabilities accurately or do they systematically misperceive them? Could such misperceptions influence voters' choices over alternative tax structures proposed by politicians? This paper assesses the accuracy of individuals' tax perceptions in the UK using micro-data from the British Social Attitudes Survey (1995) and tests an empirical model of the determinants of tax structure preferences, including tax misperceptions. A systematic bias towards "over"-estimation of income and expenditure tax (VAT) liabilities is found and individ uals' tax preferences appear to be both dominated by self-interest and distorted by tax misperceptions. Copyright 2004 Royal Economic Society.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 114 (2004)
Issue (Month): 493 (02)
Pages: F117-F138

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:114:y:2004:i:493:p:f117-f138
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