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The Distribution of Income Tax Noncompliance

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  • Johns, Andrew
  • Slemrod, Joel

Abstract

This paper uses newly available data from the IRS to assess the distributional consequences of U.S. federal income tax noncompliance for the tax year 2001. We find that, when taxpayers are arrayed by their estimated "true" income, defined as reported income adjusted for underreporting, the ratio of aggregate misreported income to true income generally increases with income, although it peaks among taxpayers with adjusted gross income in the 99.0 to 99.5 percentile. In sharp contrast, the ratio of underreported tax to true tax is highest for lower-income taxpayers.

Suggested Citation

  • Johns, Andrew & Slemrod, Joel, 2010. "The Distribution of Income Tax Noncompliance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 63(3), pages 397-418, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:63:y:2010:i:3:p:397-418
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    1. repec:kap:ejlwec:v:44:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10657-016-9553-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Hoseini, M., 2014. "Misreporting in the Value-Added Tax and the Optimal Enforcement," Discussion Paper 2014-061, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    3. D'Amato, Alessio & Mancinelli, Susanna & Zoli, Mariangela, 2016. "Complementarity vs substitutability in waste management behaviors," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 84-94.
    4. Martin Korndörfer & Boris Egloff & Stefan C. Schmukle, 2015. "A Large Scale Test of the Effect of Social Class on Prosocial Behavior," Working Papers 1601, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz.
    5. Nezih Guner & Remzi Kaygusuz & Gustavo Ventura, 2014. "Income Taxation of U.S. Households: Facts and Parametric Estimates," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(4), pages 559-581, October.
    6. Traxler, Christian, 2012. "Majority voting and the welfare implications of tax avoidance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 1-9.
    7. Martin Korndörfer & Boris Egloff & Stefan C. Schmukle, 2015. "A Large Scale Test of the Effect of Social Class on Prosocial Behavior," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 808, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    8. Bruno Chiarini & Maria Ferrara & Elisabetta Marzano, 2016. "Investment Shocks, Tax Evasion and the Consumption Puzzle: A DSGE Analysis with Financial Frictions," CESifo Working Paper Series 6015, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Tobias Broer & Marek Kapicka & Paul Klein, 2017. "Consumption Risk Sharing with Private Information and Limited Enforcement," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 23, pages 170-190, January.
    10. Duncan, Denvil, 2014. "Behavioral responses and the distributional effects of the Russian ‘flat’ tax," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 226-240.
    11. Pavel Semerad, 2015. "How to stop VAT frauds on the fuel market: a usual price rule," MENDELU Working Papers in Business and Economics 2015-54, Mendel University in Brno, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    12. José Durán-Cabré & Alejandro Esteller-Moré & Luca Salvadori, 2015. "Empirical evidence on horizontal competition in tax enforcement," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(5), pages 834-860, October.
    13. Sara Torregrosa, 2015. "Bypassing progressive taxation: fraud and base erosion in the Spanish income tax (1970-2001)," Working Papers 2015/31, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    14. James Alm & Kyle Borders, 2014. "Estimating the “Tax Gap” at the State Level: The Case of Georgia's Personal Income Tax," Public Budgeting & Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(4), pages 61-79, December.
    15. Luca Salvadori, 2015. "Does tax enforcement counteract the negative effects of terrorism? A case study of the Basque Country," Working Papers 2015/9, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    16. Nezih Guner & Remzi Kaygusuz & Gustavo Ventura, 2014. "Income Taxation of U.S. Households: Facts and Parametric Estimates," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(4), pages 559-581, October.
    17. Phillips, Mark D., 2014. "Deterrence vs. gamesmanship: Taxpayer response to targeted audits and endogenous penalties," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 81-98.
    18. Erlend Bø & Peter Lambert & Thor Thoresen, 2012. "Horizontal inequity under a dual income tax system: principles and measurement," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 19(5), pages 625-640, October.
    19. Luca Salvadori, 2015. "Does tax enforcement counteract the negative effects of terrorism? A case study of the Basque country," ERSA conference papers ersa15p1465, European Regional Science Association.
    20. Tobias Broer & Marek Kapicka & Paul Klein, 2017. "Consumption Risk Sharing with Private Information and Limited Enforcement," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 23, pages 170-190, January.

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