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Predictive analytics and the targeting of audits

Author

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  • Hashimzade, Nigar
  • Myles, Gareth D.
  • Rablen, Matthew D.

Abstract

The literature on audit strategies has focused on random audits or on audits conditioned only on income declaration. In contrast, tax authorities employ the tools of predictive analytics to identify taxpayers for audit, with a range of variables used for conditioning. The paper explores the compliance and revenue consequences of the use of predictive analytics in an agent-based model that draws upon a behavioral approach to tax compliance. The taxpayers in the model form subjective beliefs about the probability of audit from social interaction, and are guided by a social custom that is developed from meeting other taxpayers. The belief and social custom feed into the occupational choice between employment and two forms of self-employment. It is shown that the use of predictive analytics yields a significant increase in revenue over a random audit strategy.

Suggested Citation

  • Hashimzade, Nigar & Myles, Gareth D. & Rablen, Matthew D., 2016. "Predictive analytics and the targeting of audits," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 130-145.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:124:y:2016:i:c:p:130-145
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.11.009
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    Cited by:

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    3. Eberhartinger, Eva & Safaei, Reyhaneh & Sureth, Caren & Wu, Yuchen, 2021. "Are risk-based tax audit stretegies rewarded? An analysis of corporate tax avoidance," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 267, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    4. James Alm, 2021. "Tax evasion, technology, and inequality," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 321-343, December.
    5. Di Gioacchino, Debora & Fichera, Domenico, 2020. "Tax evasion and tax morale: A social network analysis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    6. Andrey L. Anisimov, 2018. "Economic Model of Tax Authorities’ Costs Optimisation and Tax Revenue Receipt," Journal of New Economy, Ural State University of Economics, vol. 19(5), pages 59-71, October.
    7. Duccio Gamannossi degl’Innocenti & Matthew D. Rablen, 2017. "Tax avoidance and optimal income tax enforcement," IFS Working Papers W17/08, Institute for Fiscal Studies.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax compliance; Social network; Agent-based model;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation

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