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The effects of tax rates and enforcement policies on taxpayer compliance: A study of self-employed taxpayers

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  • Mukhtar Ali
  • H. Cecil
  • James Knoblett

Abstract

This paper presents an econometric analysis of taxpayer compliance, exploring its relationship with audit rates, penalties if detected, tax rate schedule, income level, and sources of self-employment income. Using data drawn from the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue Service [IRS, various] and the Data Book [IRS, various] for 1980 to 1995, the audit rate and penalty rate are both effective deterrents to noncompliance. The effectiveness of these two policy instruments depends upon the individual's level of income. It seems the higher the income level, the more effective these instruments are. In general, compliance increases with the level of income but at a decreasing rate. It is also found that individuals tend to comply less as the marginal tax rate rises. Again, such tendency is more pronounced for high-income taxpayers than for low-income taxpayers. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2001

Suggested Citation

  • Mukhtar Ali & H. Cecil & James Knoblett, 2001. "The effects of tax rates and enforcement policies on taxpayer compliance: A study of self-employed taxpayers," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 29(2), pages 186-202, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:29:y:2001:i:2:p:186-202 DOI: 10.1007/BF02299137
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:kap:theord:v:82:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11238-016-9581-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Richard J. Cebula, 2014. "The underground economy in the U.S.A.: preliminary new evidence on the impact of income tax rates (and other factors) on aggregate tax evasion 1975-2008," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 67(271), pages 451-481.
    3. Franklin G. Mixon & Richard J. Cebula (ed.), 2014. "New Developments in Economic Education," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15538, April.
    4. Erich Kirchler & Stephan Muehlbacher & Barbara Kastlunger & Ingrid Wahl, 2007. "Why Pay Taxes? A Review of Tax Compliance Decisions," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0730, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    5. Richard J. Cebula, 2008. "Small Firm Size and Health Insurance: A Private Enterprise Perspective," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 24(Fall 2008), pages 51-77.
    6. Richard J. Cebula, 2001. "Impact of income-detection technology and other factors on aggregate income tax evasion:the case of the United States," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 54(219), pages 401-415.
    7. Amedeo Piolatto & Matthew D. Rablen, 2017. "Prospect theory and tax evasion: a reconsideration of the Yitzhaki puzzle," Theory and Decision, Springer, pages 543-565.
    8. Miklós Fellegi, 2013. "Tax Evasion or Tax Optimization: is there any Narrow Path between the Two?," Theory Methodology Practice (TMP), Faculty of Economics, University of Miskolc, vol. 9(02), pages 35-40.
    9. Boris Maciejovsky & Herbert Schwarzenberger & Erich Kirchler, 2012. "Rationality Versus Emotions: The Case of Tax Ethics and Compliance," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, pages 339-350.
    10. Eisenhauer, Joseph G., 2008. "Ethical preferences, risk aversion, and taxpayer behavior," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 45-63, February.
    11. Feige, Edgar L. & Cebula, Richard, 2011. "America’s unreported economy: measuring the size, growth and determinants of income tax evasion in the U.S," MPRA Paper 34781, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Merike Kukk & Karsten Staehr, 2014. "Identification of Income Underreporting by the Self-Employed: Employment Status or Reported Business Income?," TUT Economic Research Series 8, Department of Finance and Economics, Tallinn University of Technology.
    13. Pittarello, Andrea & Rubaltelli, Enrico & Rumiati, Rino, 2013. "You can’t be better than me: The role of the reference point in modulating people’s pursuit of wealth," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 65-76.
    14. Richard Cebula, 2003. "Tax evasion as ade facto vote of disapproval of PAC contributions," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 31(4), pages 338-347, December.
    15. Feige, Edgar L. & Cebula, Richard, 2011. "America’s Underground Economy: Measuring the Size, Growth and Determinants of Income Tax Evasion in the U.S," MPRA Paper 29672, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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