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Voluntary disclosure of evaded taxes — Increasing revenue, or increasing incentives to evade?

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  • Langenmayr, Dominika

Abstract

Many countries apply lower fines to tax evading individuals when they voluntarily disclose the tax evasion they committed. I model such voluntary disclosure mechanisms theoretically and show that while such mechanisms increase the incentive to evade taxes, they nevertheless increase tax revenues net of administrative costs. I confirm the importance of administrative costs in a survey of German competent local tax authorities. I then test the effects of voluntary disclosure on the tax evasion decision, using the introduction of the 2009 offshore voluntary disclosure program in the U.S. for identification. The analysis confirms that the introduction of voluntary disclosure increases tax evasion.

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  • Langenmayr, Dominika, 2017. "Voluntary disclosure of evaded taxes — Increasing revenue, or increasing incentives to evade?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 110-125.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:151:y:2017:i:c:p:110-125
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2015.08.007
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Niels Johannesen & Tim Stolper, 2017. "The Deterrence Effect of Whistleblowing: An Event Study of Leaked Customer Information from Banks in Tax Havens," CESifo Working Paper Series 6784, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Konrad, Kai A. & Stolper, Tim B.M., 2016. "Coordination and the fight against tax havens," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 96-107.
    3. Niels Johannesen & Patrick Langetieg & Daniel Reck & Max Risch & Joel Slemrod, 2018. "Taxing Hidden Wealth: The Consequences of U.S. Enforcement Initiatives on Evasive Foreign Accounts," NBER Working Papers 24366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Dirk Bethmann & Michael Kvasnicka, 2016. "International Tax Evasion, State Purchases of Confidential Bank Data and Voluntary Disclosures," FEMM Working Papers 160001, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    5. Niels Johannesen & Tim B.M. Stolper, 2017. "The deterrence effect of whistleblowing," EPRU Working Paper Series 17-01, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    6. Pietro Battiston & Denvil Duncan & Simona Gamba & Alessandro Santoro, 2016. "The Italian Blitz: a natural experiment on audit publicity and tax compliance," FBK-IRVAPP Working Papers 2016-10, Research Institute for the Evaluation of Public Policies (IRVAPP), Bruno Kessler Foundation.
    7. Marcel Garz & Verena Pagels, 2017. "Cautionary Tales: Celebrities, the News Media, and Participation in Tax Amnesties," CESifo Working Paper Series 6795, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Heiner Schmittdiel, 2015. "Voluntary Disclosure Programs for Tax Evaders," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-128/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    9. Matthew Gould & Matthew Rablen, 2016. "Voluntary Disclosure Schemes for Offshore Tax Evasion: An Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 5750, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax evasion; Voluntary disclosure; Self-reporting;

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies

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