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Tax Amnesties as Asset-Laundering Devices

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  • Das-Gupta, Arindam
  • Mookherjee, Dilip

Abstract

This article analyzes the effect of a one-time tax amnesty intended to induce private citizens to voluntarily declare black assets accumulated from past tax evasion. In a dynamic setting, we find that such an amnesty tends to enhance voluntary taxpayer compliance and reduce the size of the underground economy. However, it also generally tends to reduce aggregate net revenues collected by the government in the long run, provided black assets command a higher pretax rate of return than white assets. This is due to a post-amnesty reduction in involuntary revenue collections that outweighs direct amnesty receipts and the increase in voluntary compliance. The desirability of such amnesties thus depends on the importance of unearthing black assets per se, relative to increasing revenue collections. Copyright 1996 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Das-Gupta, Arindam & Mookherjee, Dilip, 1996. "Tax Amnesties as Asset-Laundering Devices," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 408-431, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:12:y:1996:i:2:p:408-31
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    Cited by:

    1. Motta, Massimo & Polo, Michele, 2003. "Leniency programs and cartel prosecution," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 347-379, March.
    2. Christoph Zaborowski & Peter Zweifel, 1999. "Getting Out of Debt: Garnishment of Wage in Whose Interest?," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 207-230, November.
    3. Zaborowski Christoph & Zweifel Peter, 2002. "Wege aus der Verschuldung: Reform der Lohnpfändung / Getting Out of Debt: Reforming the Garnishment of Wage," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 222(2), pages 258-279, April.
    4. Motta, Alberto & Burlando, Alfredo, 2007. "Self reporting reduces corruption in law enforcement," MPRA Paper 5332, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 23 Jun 2007.
    5. Bruno Chiarini & Marco Di Domizio & Elisabetta Marzano, 2009. "Why Do Underground Reducing Policies Often Fail Their Scope? Some Answers From The Italian Experience," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(2), pages 308-318, July.
    6. Julio López Laborda & Fernando Rodrigo Sauco, 2002. "El análisis económico de las amnistías fiscales: ¿Qué hemos aprendido hasta ahora?," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 163(4), pages 121-153, December.
    7. Sandro Momigliano & Pietro Rizza, 2007. "Temporary measures in Italy: buying or losing time?," MNB Conference Volume, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary), vol. 1(1), pages 61-71, December.
    8. Marcel Garz & Verena Pagels, 2017. "Cautionary Tales: Celebrities, the News Media, and Participation in Tax Amnesties," CESifo Working Paper Series 6795, CESifo Group Munich.

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