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The Economics of Corporate Tax Selfishness

  • Slemrod, Joel

This paper offers an economics perspective on tax evasion and abusive avoidance done by corporations. It first reviews what is known about the extent and nature of corporate tax noncompliance and the resources devoted to enforcement. It then addresses the supply side of aggressive corporate tax planning—the industrial organization of the tax shelter industry—as well as the demand for corporate tax evasion and abusive avoidance, focusing on how the standard Allingham–Sandmo approach to tax evasion needs to be modified when applied to public corporations. It then discusses the implications of a supply–and–demand approach for the analysis of the incidence and efficiency cost of corporate income taxation, and the very justification for a separate tax on corporation income. Along the way it addresses policy proposals aimed at increased disclosure of corporate tax activities to both the IRS and to the public.

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Article provided by National Tax Association in its journal National Tax Journal.

Volume (Year): 57 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 877-99

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Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:57:y:2004:i:4:p:877-99
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  1. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
  2. Andreoni, J. & Erard, B. & Feinstein, J., 1996. "Tax Compliance," Working papers 9610, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  3. Frey, Bruno S, 1997. "A Constitution for Knaves Crowds Out Civic Virtues," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1043-53, July.
  4. Mihir A. Desai, 2003. "The Divergence between Book Income and Tax Income," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 17, pages 169-208 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Shackelford, Douglas A. & Shevlin, Terry, 2001. "Empirical tax research in accounting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-3), pages 321-387, September.
  6. Frank A Cowell, 2003. "Sticks and Carrots," STICERD - Distributional Analysis Research Programme Papers 68, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  7. Joel Slemrod & Shlomo Yitzhaki, 1996. "The Costs of Taxation and the Marginal Efficiency Cost of Funds," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(1), pages 172-198, March.
  8. Andreoni, James, 1992. "IRS as loan shark tax compliance with borrowing constraints," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 35-46, October.
  9. Hines, James Jr., 2004. "On the timeliness of tax reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(5), pages 1043-1059, April.
  10. Joel B. Slemrod & Marsha Blumenthal, 1996. "The Income Tax Compliance Cost of Big Business," Public Finance Review, , vol. 24(4), pages 411-438, October.
  11. Joel Slemrod & Shlomo Yitzhaki, 2000. "Tax Avoidance, Evasion, and Administration," NBER Working Papers 7473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Polinsky, A. Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1993. "Should employees be subject to fines and imprisonment given the existence of corporate liability?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 239-257, September.
  13. Joel Slemrod, 2002. "Trust in Public Finance," NBER Working Papers 9187, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Crocker, Keith J. & Slemrod, Joel, 2005. "Corporate tax evasion with agency costs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1593-1610, September.
  15. David Joulfaian, 2000. "Corporate Income Tax Evasion and Managerial Preferences," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 698-701, November.
  16. Desai, Mihir A. & Hines, James R. Jr., 2002. "Expectations and Expatriations: Tracing the Causes and Consequences of Corporate Inversions," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 55(3), pages 409-40, September.
  17. Joel Slemrod, 2001. "A General Model of the Behavioral Response to Taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 119-128, March.
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