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Does credit-card information reporting improve small-business tax compliance?

Author

Listed:
  • Slemrod, Joel
  • Collins, Brett
  • Hoopes, Jeffrey L.
  • Reck, Daniel
  • Sebastiani, Michael

Abstract

We investigate the response of small businesses operating as sole proprietorships to Form 1099-K, an information report introduced in 2011 which provides the Internal Revenue Service with information about electronic sales (e.g., credit card sales). The overall impact of the policy appears to be relatively small. However, theory and distributional analysis isolates a subset of taxpayers expected to be especially sensitive to reporting, who report receipts equal to or slightly exceeding the receipts reported on 1099-K. Among this set of taxpayers, information reporting induced more complete tax reporting–30% of sensitive taxpayers filed a return declaring business income for the first time, and among those that were already filing, we estimate an increase in reported receipts by up to 24%. These taxpayers largely offset increased reported receipts with increased reported expenses, which do not face information reporting, diminishing the impact on reported net taxable income.

Suggested Citation

  • Slemrod, Joel & Collins, Brett & Hoopes, Jeffrey L. & Reck, Daniel & Sebastiani, Michael, 2017. "Does credit-card information reporting improve small-business tax compliance?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 1-19.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:149:y:2017:i:c:p:1-19
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2017.02.010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marie Bjørneby & Annette Alstadsæter & Kjetil Telle, 2018. "Collusive Tax Evasion by Employers and Employees: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment in Norway," CESifo Working Paper Series 7381, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Philipp Doerrenberg & Jan Schmitz, 2017. "Tax compliance and information provision. A field experiment with small firms," Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy, Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics (SABE), vol. 1(1), pages 47-54, February.
    3. Katharine Abraham & John Haltiwanger & Kristin Sandusky & James Spletzer, 2017. "Measuring the Gig Economy: Current Knowledge and Open Issues," NBER Chapters,in: Measuring and Accounting for Innovation in the 21st Century National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. James Alm, 2019. "What Motivates Tax Compliance," Working Papers 1903, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    5. Carlo, Fiorio & Alessandro, Santoro, 2017. "Evidence-based threat-of-audit letters: do taxpayers respond strategically in a complex environment?," Working Papers 372, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised 26 Sep 2017.
    6. Miguel Almunia & David Lopez-Rodriguez, 2018. "Under the Radar: The Effects of Monitoring Firms on Tax Compliance," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 1-38, February.
    7. Paul Carrillo & Dina Pomeranz & Monica Singhal, 2017. "Dodging the Taxman: Firm Misreporting and Limits to Tax Enforcement," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 144-164, April.
    8. Tazhitdinova, Alisa, 2015. "Reducing Evasion Through Self-Reporting: Theory and Evidence from Charitable Contributions," MPRA Paper 81612, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2017.
    9. Giulia Mascagni, 2018. "From The Lab To The Field: A Review Of Tax Experiments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 273-301, April.
    10. Keen, Michael & Slemrod, Joel, 2017. "Optimal tax administration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 133-142.
    11. Mascagni, Giulia & Mengistu, Andualem T. & Woldeyes, Firew B., 2018. "Can ICTs Increase Tax? Experimental Evidence from Ethiopia," Working Papers 13845, Institute of Development Studies, International Centre for Tax and Development.
    12. repec:eee:pubeco:v:165:y:2018:i:c:p:31-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. George Hondroyiannis & Dimitrios Papaoikonomou, 2018. "Fiscal structural reforms: the effect of card payments on vat revenue in the euro area," Working Papers 249, Bank of Greece.
    14. Brockmeyer,Anne & Hernandez,Marco, 2016. "Taxation, information, and withholding : evidence from Costa Rica," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7600, The World Bank.
    15. repec:kap:itaxpf:v:25:y:2018:i:6:d:10.1007_s10797-018-9509-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Claudio Agostini & Eduardo Engel & Andrea Repetto & Damian Vergara, 2017. "Individual Tax Planning and Small Business Creation: Evidence on the Impact of Special Tax Regimes in Chile," Working Papers wp_054, Adolfo Ibáñez University, School of Government.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax evasion; Information reporting; Small businesses; Tax enforcement; Administrative data;

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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