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Pakistan’s Tax Gap: Estimates By Tax Calculation and Methodology

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Abstract

This report provides estimates of Pakistan’s tax gap by type of tax and describes the methodologies and data used to produce these estimates. A country’s tax gap is the amount of tax that goes uncollected due to non-compliance with the tax law. For estimation purposes, the operational definition of the tax gap is the difference between potential and actual federal tax revenue, where potential revenue is the amount of tax that the government would collect if everyone fully complied with the tax law. It is a simple matter to get actual tax collections by type of tax, so the trick to estimating a country’s tax gap is to obtain a reasonably accurate measure of potential tax revenue. Our basic strategy is to use micro-simulation models to estimate the potential revenues from Pakistan’s federal taxes of which there are only a hand full. Such modeling requires micro-economic data with information about the relevant tax bases and a tax calculator to simulate tax liabilities by type of tax. The advantage of this approach is the detailed information that it provides on the rate of compliance by type of tax which should be helpful in targeting scarce tax enforcement resources and in evaluating tax policy reforms.

Suggested Citation

  • Robina Ather Ahmed & Mark Rider, 2008. "Pakistan’s Tax Gap: Estimates By Tax Calculation and Methodology," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0811, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper0811
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    File URL: http://icepp.gsu.edu/files/2015/03/ispwp0811.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Ahmad, Ehtisham, 2010. "The political-economy of tax reforms in Pakistan: the ongoing saga of the GST," Discussion Papers 95948, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    2. World Bank, 2014. "Albania Public Finance Review : Part 1. Toward a Sustainable Fiscal Policy for Growth," World Bank Other Operational Studies 17279, The World Bank.
    3. Salar, Laleena & Zaman, Khalid & Khilji, Bashir Ahmad & Khan, Muhammad Mushtaq & Lodhi, Mohammad Saeed, 2013. "The consequences of revenue gap in Pakistan: Unveiling the reality," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 281-294.
    4. Ehtisham Ahmad, 2010. "Why is it so Difficult to Implement a GST in Pakistan?," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 15(Special E), pages 139-169, September.
    5. Andrew Feltenstein & Musharraf Cyan, 2012. "A Computational General Equilibrium Approach to Sectoral Analysis for Tax Potential: An Application to Pakistan," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1226, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.

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    Keywords

    Pakistan; Pakistan Taxation; tax gap; non-compliance;

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