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A Contest with the Taxman - The Impact of Tax Rates on Tax Evasion and Wastefully Invested Resources

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  • Ralph-C Bayer

    () (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)

Abstract

We develop a moral hazard model with auditing where both the principal and the agent can influence the probability that the true state of nature is verified. This setting is widely applicable for situations where fraudulent reporting with costly state verification takes place. However, we use the framework to investigate tax evasion. We model tax evasion as a concealment-detection contest between the taxpayer and the authority. We show that higher tax rates cause more evasion and increase the resources wasted in the contest. Additionally, we find conditions under which a government should enforce incentive compatible auditing in order to reduce wasted resources.

Suggested Citation

  • Ralph-C Bayer, 2004. "A Contest with the Taxman - The Impact of Tax Rates on Tax Evasion and Wastefully Invested Resources," School of Economics Working Papers 2004-11, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:adl:wpaper:2004-11
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    File URL: http://www.economics.adelaide.edu.au/research/papers/doc/wp2004-11.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Frank A. Cowell, 1990. "Cheating the Government: The Economics of Evasion," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262532484, January.
    2. Graetz, Michael J & Reinganum, Jennifer F & Wilde, Louis L, 1986. "The Tax Compliance Game: Toward an Interactive Theory of Law Enforcement," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(1), pages 1-32, Spring.
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    4. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1994. " Tax Evasion, Concealment and the Optimal Linear Income Tax," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(2), pages 219-239.
    5. Vital Anderhub & Sebastian Giese & Werner Güth & Antje Hoffmann & Thomas Otto, 2001. "Tax Evasion with Earned Income - An Experimental Study," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 58(2), pages 188-188, February.
    6. Macho-Stadler, Ines & Perez-Castrillo, J David, 1997. "Optimal Auditing with Heterogeneous Income," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(4), pages 951-968, November.
    7. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, I P L, 1990. "Enforcement Costs and the Optimal Progressivity of Income Taxes," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 410-431, Fall.
    8. Reinganum, Jennifer F & Wilde, Louis L, 1986. "Equilibrium Verification and Reporting Policies in a Model of Tax Compliance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(3), pages 739-760, October.
    9. Parkash Chander & Louis L. Wilde, 1998. "A General Characterization of Optimal Income Tax Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 165-183.
    10. Kim C. Border & Joel Sobel, 1987. "Samurai Accountant: A Theory of Auditing and Plunder," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(4), pages 525-540.
    11. Reinganum, Jennifer F. & Wilde, Louis L., 1985. "Income tax compliance in a principal-agent framework," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-18, February.
    12. Dilip Mookherjee & Ivan Png, 1989. "Optimal Auditing, Insurance, and Redistribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 399-415.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kirchler, Erich & Maciejovsky, Boris & Schneider, Friedrich, 2003. "Everyday representations of tax avoidance, tax evasion, and tax flight: Do legal differences matter?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 535-553, August.
    2. Wilfried Anicet Kouamé, 2015. "Tax Morale and Trust in Public Institutions," Cahiers de recherche 15-14, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke, revised Oct 2017.
    3. Maurizio Caserta & Francesco Reito, 2015. "Minimum taxation as a luxury good," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 32(3), pages 301-310, December.
    4. Loukas Balafoutas & Adrian Beck & Rudolf Kerschbamer & Matthias Sutter, 2014. "The Hidden Costs of Tax Evasion - Collaborative Tax Evasion in Markets for Expert Services," Working Papers 2014-01, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    5. Francesco Busato & Bruno Chiarini & Pasquale De Angelis & Elisabetta Marzano, 2008. "Firm-oriented policies, tax cheating and perverse outcomes," Discussion Papers 10_2008, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
    6. Bayer, Ralph-C & Sutter, Matthias, 2009. "The excess burden of tax evasion--An experimental detection-concealment contest," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 527-543, July.
    7. Bayer, Ralph & Cowell, Frank, 2009. "Tax compliance and firms' strategic interdependence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1131-1143, December.
    8. Gilbert Mbaraa & Ryszard Kokoszczyński, 2018. "Corporate governance, tax evasion and business cycles," Working Papers 2018-10, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    9. Maciejovsky, Boris & Kirchler, Erich & Schwarzenberger, Herbert, 2007. "Misperception of chance and loss repair: On the dynamics of tax compliance," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 678-691, December.
    10. Alain Trannoy & Gwenola Trotin, 2010. "Do High Tax and Tax Evasion go Hand in Hand? The Non-Linear Case," IDEP Working Papers 1004, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France, revised Jul 2010.
    11. Ralph-C Bayer, 2003. "Income Tax Evasion with Morally Constraint Taxpayers: The Role of Evasion Opportunities and Evasion Cost," School of Economics Working Papers 2003-04, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
    12. Balafoutas, Loukas & Beck, Adrian & Kerschbamer, Rudolf & Sutter, Matthias, 2015. "The hidden costs of tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 14-25.
    13. Bruno Chiarini & Elisabetta Marzano & Francesco Busato & Pasquale De Angelis, 2007. "State Aid Policies and Underground Activities," Discussion Papers 4_2007, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
    14. Sokolovskyi, Dmytro, 2018. "Game-theoretic model of tax evasion: analysis of agents’ interaction and optimization of tax burden," MPRA Paper 86415, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Kim, Sangheon, 2008. "Does political intention affect tax evasion?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 401-415.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    tax evasion; auditing rules; contest; moral hazard;

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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