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Aggregate Income Tax Evasion: Empirical Results Using new IRS Data for the U.S. - L’evasione aggregata del reddito: risultati empirici ottenuti utilizzando i nuovi dati IRS per gli USA




This study empirically investigates the determinants of aggregate federal personal income tax evasion in the U.S. using the most current data available from the IRS. In 2010, the IRS released a new series on personal income tax evasion data running through the year 2005. Using this new data, the present study seeks to identify any new as well as traditional determinants of domestic personal income tax evasion. Aside from investigating the most commonly recognized factors that allegedly influence tax evasion, such as a measure of income tax rates and IRS audit rate and penalty interest rate levels, the tax free interest rate yield, the public’s job approval rating of the President, the unemployment rate, the Tax Reform Act of 1986, and the public’s dissatisfaction with government per se are included in the analysis, along with two variables previously unstudied in a purely time-series context, namely, the percentage of filed tax returns that include itemized deductions and the real interest rate yield on Moody’s Baa-rated long term corporate bonds. With the exception of the IRS audit rate, all of these factors are found to significantly influence the aggregate degree of personal income taxation over the 39-year period from 1967 through 2005, the most recent several years of which have not been previously investigated. - Questo studio esamina le determinanti dell’evasione aggregata dell’imposta sui redditi personali negli USA sulla base degli ultimi dati disponibili forniti dall’Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Nel 2010 l’IRS ha reso noti nuovi dati su tale evasione relativi all’anno 2005. Tramite l’utilizzo di questi dati questo lavoro cerca di individuare nuovi elementi – in aggiunta a quelli già noti – che portano all’evasione delle tasse personali sul reddito. Oltre a investigare i fattori che notoriamente influenzano l’evasione fiscale (quali la percentuale delle imposte sul reddito, la quota di dichiarazioni controllate formalmente dall’IRS e il valore delle sanzioni inflitte), sono inclusi nell’analisi il rendimento dei tassi di interesse tax free, il livello di approvazione dell’operato del Presidente, il tasso di disoccupazione, il Tax Reform Act del 1986 e il livello di insoddisfazione nei confronti del Governo, insieme a due variabili mai considerate precedentemente in un contesto puramente time-series: la percentuale di dichiarazioni dei redditi che includono deduzioni dettagliate e il tasso di rendimento reale dei corporate bond a lungo termine con rating Moody Baa. Fatta eccezione per il tasso di audit dell’IRS, tutti questi fattori risultano aver influenzato significativamente il grado aggregato di imposta sui redditi personali del trentennio 1976-2005.

Suggested Citation

  • Cebula, Richard J., 2011. "Aggregate Income Tax Evasion: Empirical Results Using new IRS Data for the U.S. - L’evasione aggregata del reddito: risultati empirici ottenuti utilizzando i nuovi dati IRS per gli USA," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 64(4), pages 423-443.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:ecoint:0630

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Edward Christie & Mario Holzner, 2006. "What Explains Tax Evasion? An Empirical Assessment based on European Data," wiiw Working Papers 40, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    2. Joel Slemrod, 1992. "Did the Tax Reform Act of 1986 Simplify Tax Matters?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 45-57, Winter.
    3. E Gahramanov, 2009. "The Theoretical Analysis of Income Tax Evasion Revisited," Economic Issues Journal Articles, Economic Issues, vol. 14(1), pages 35-42, March.
    4. Gary C. Sanger & C. F. Sirmans & Geoffrey K. Turnbull, 1990. "The Effects of Tax Reform on Real Estate: Some Empirical Results," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 66(4), pages 409-424.
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    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. Attiat Ott & Sheila Vegari, 2003. "Tax reform: Chasing the elusive dream," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 31(3), pages 266-282, September.
    8. Alm, James & Jackson, Betty & McKee, Michael, 1992. "Institutional Uncertainty and Taxpayer Compliance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 1018-1026, September.
    9. Falkinger, Josef, 1988. "Tax Evasion and Equity: A Theoretical Analysis," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 43(3), pages 388-395.
    10. Feige, Edgar L, 1994. "The Underground Economy and the Currency Enigma," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 49(Supplemen), pages 119-136.
    11. Cebula, Richard J, 2008. "Does the Public's Job Approval Rating of the U.S. President Influence the Degree of Federal Personal Income Tax Evasion?," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 55(1-2), pages 48-63.
    12. Alm, James & McClelland, Gary H & Schulze, William D, 1999. "Changing the Social Norm of Tax Compliance by Voting," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 141-171.
    13. Richard J. Cebula, 2004. "Income Tax Evasion Revisited: The Impact of Interest Rate Yields on Tax-Free Municipal Bonds," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 418-423, October.
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    More about this item


    Income Tax Evasion; Real Interest Rate Yield; Benefit-Cost Model;

    JEL classification:

    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy


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