Income Tax Avoidance and Evasion
We characterize optimal individual tax evasion and avoidance when taxpayers â€œnarrow bracketâ€ the joint avoidance/evasion decision by exhausting all gainful methods for legal avoidance before choosing whether or not also to evade illegally. We find that (1) evasion is an increasing function of the audit probability when the latter is low enough, yet tax avoidance is always decreasing in the probability of audit; (2) an analogous finding to the so-called Yitzhaki puzzle for evasion also holds for tax avoidanceâ€”an increase in the tax rate decreases the level of avoided income and the level of avoided tax; and (3) that, holding constant the expected return to evasion, it is not always the case that the combined loss of reported income due to avoidance and evasion can be stemmed by increasing the fine rate and decreasing the audit probability.
Volume (Year): 45 (2017)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
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