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The Russian ‘flat tax’ reform
[‘Income tax evasion: A theoretical analysis’]

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  • Anna Ivanova
  • Michael Keen
  • Alexander Klemm

Abstract

In 2001, Russia dramatically reduced its higher rates of personal income tax (PIT), establishing a single marginal rate at the low level of 13%. In the following year, real revenue from the PIT increased by about 26%. This ‘flat tax’ experience has attracted much attention (and emulation), making it perhaps the most important tax reform of recent years. But it has been little studied. This paper asks whether the strong performance of PIT revenue was itself a consequence of this reform, using both macro evidence and, in particular, micro level data on the experiences of individuals and households affected by the reform to varying degrees. It concludes that there is no evidence of a strong supply side effect of the reform. Compliance, however, does appear to have improved quite substantially – by about one third, according to our estimates – though it remains unclear whether this was due to the parametric tax reform or to accompanying changes in enforcement.— Anna Ivanova, Michael Keen and Alexander Klemm

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Ivanova & Michael Keen & Alexander Klemm, 2005. "The Russian ‘flat tax’ reform [‘Income tax evasion: A theoretical analysis’]," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(43), pages 398-444.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecpoli:v:20:y:2005:i:43:p:398-444.
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