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Cost Benefit Analysis of Presumptive Taxation

  • Shlomo Yitzhaki

The general idea is the following: any tax authority that respects basic human rights has to impose taxes on a base to avoid random and arbitrary taxation. The tax base should be announced prior to the imposition of the tax and therefore, taxpayers are given an advanced warning concerning the tax base. The advanced warning enables the taxpayers to adjust the tax base to the new circumstances so that they can adjust their behavior to the existence of the tax. This adjustment of the tax base by the taxpayer is responsible to the excess burden of the tax. Retroactive taxes, that is taxes imposed on tax bases determined in the past and that, therefore, cannot be changed by the taxpayers are considered as unethical. Although the determination of the tax base is just the first stage in the taxation process- tax liability is determined by applying a rate or a schedule of rates to the base- most of the complications that arise in taxation (and as a result are responsible for administrative and compliance costs) arise in the determination of the tax base.

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File URL: http://icepp.gsu.edu/files/2015/03/ispwp0714.pdf
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Paper provided by International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University in its series International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU with number paper0714.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jun 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper0714
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Web page: http://aysps.gsu.edu/isp/index.html

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  1. Gordon, Roger & Li, Wei, 2009. "Tax structures in developing countries: Many puzzles and a possible explanation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 855-866, August.
  2. Milka Casanegra de Jantscher & Vito Tanzi, 1987. "Presumptive Income Taxation; Administrative, Efficiency, and Equity Aspects," IMF Working Papers 87/54, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Laurence Jacquet & Bruno Van der Linden, 2006. "The Normative Analysis of Tagging Revisited: Dealing with Stigmatization," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 62(2), pages 168-198, June.
  4. Sadka, Efraim, 1976. "On Income Distribution, Incentive Effects and Optimal Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 261-67, June.
  5. Richard M. Bird & Sally Wallace, 2003. "Is It Really so Hard to Tax the Hard-to-Tax? The Context and Role of Presumptive Taxes," International Tax Program Papers 0307, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
  6. Stern, Nicholas, 1982. "Optimum taxation with errors in administration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 181-211, March.
  7. Joel Slemrod & Shlomo Yitzhaki, 1994. "Analyzing the standard deduction as a presumptive tax," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 25-34, February.
  8. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2000. "Trust Breeds Trust: How Taxpayers are Treated," CESifo Working Paper Series 322, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Alessandro Balestrino & Umberto Galmarini, 2005. "On the Redistributive Properties of Presumptive Taxation," CESifo Working Paper Series 1381, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Joel Slemrod & Shlomo Yitzhaki, 2000. "Tax Avoidance, Evasion, and Administration," NBER Working Papers 7473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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