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Diskussionsbeitrag / Discussion Paper. Finanzverwaltung von innen: Neue Ansätze ihrer empirisch-ökonomischen Erforschung


  • Schöbel Enrico

    () (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt a.M., Internationales Studienzentrum, Campus Bockenheim, Bockenheimer Landstraße 76, 60323 Frankfurt a.M., Germany)


Unlike economic theories of tax law enforcement, real income tax law application requires thorough interpretation of the law and the actual facts with regard to tax purposes. The automatic assessment produced by a computer program in German tax offices suggests the existence of a mechanically operated taxation akin to a weaving mill. However, empirical studies of tax administrations in the USA, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, as well as examinations carried out by the German Courts of Audit shed light on a subjective information revealing and decision making process. Unfortunately, the German tax administration does not provide individual tax assessment and tax compliance data which could be empirically analysed in comparison with the findings from abroad. Empirical economic studies are required to answer the question of how the German income tax law is applied. Thus, an expert questionnaire was developed and successfully pre-tested in tax offices with the aim of encouraging a nationwide study. A research proposal suggested interviewing tax advisers on their professional experience with tax offices. The German Federal Ministry of Finance initiated an online survey addressed to the tax advisers. The study and its results are critically reviewed with regard to methodology, previous insights, and the earlier proposal.

Suggested Citation

  • Schöbel Enrico, 2011. "Diskussionsbeitrag / Discussion Paper. Finanzverwaltung von innen: Neue Ansätze ihrer empirisch-ökonomischen Erforschung," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 231(4), pages 558-571, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:231:y:2011:i:4:p:558-571

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Slemrod, Joel & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2002. "Tax avoidance, evasion, and administration," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 22, pages 1423-1470 Elsevier.
    2. Naomi E. Feldman & Joel Slemrod, 2007. "Estimating tax noncompliance with evidence from unaudited tax returns," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(518), pages 327-352, March.
    3. Bruno S. Frey & Lars P. Feld, 2002. "Deterrence and Morale in Taxation: An Empirical Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 760, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Lars P. Feld & Friedrich Schneider, 2010. "Survey on the Shadow Economy and Undeclared Earnings in OECD Countries," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11, pages 109-149, May.
    5. Enrico Schöbel, 2010. "Self-Regulated Markets for Professional Legal Services: The Case of Tax Intermediaries," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(2), pages 497-504.
    6. Elffers, Henk & Robben, Henry S. J. & Hessing, Dick J., 1992. "On measuring tax evasion," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 545-567, December.
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