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On the Redistributive Properties of Presumptive Taxation

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  • Alessandro Balestrino
  • Umberto Galmarini

Abstract

Presumptive taxation, in which an income proxy is used as tax base, has been and is still used today in countries with very diverse situations - developing, transition and developed countries. Usually, this form of taxation is thought of as a revenue-raising device in presence of widespread imperfect tax compliance. We investigate the question of whether presumptive taxation can be used as a redistributive instrument. To this end, we employ an occupational choice model in which an individual can be either an entrepreneur or a worker. We allow for different abilities to dodge taxes across social classes, and consider both the case in which a conventional income tax is in place alongside presumptive taxation and the case in which only presumptive taxation is operating. We argue that a revenue-neutral reform introducing a lump-sum presumptive tax based on occupational choice can improve social welfare, and sometimes even lead to a Pareto-improvement.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Balestrino & Umberto Galmarini, 2005. "On the Redistributive Properties of Presumptive Taxation," CESifo Working Paper Series 1381, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1381
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alessandro Balestrino & Umberto Galmarini, 2003. "Imperfect Tax Compliance and the Optimal Provision of Public Goods," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 37-52, January.
    2. Sijbren Cnossen & Lans Bovenberg, 2001. "Fundamental Tax Reform in The Netherlands," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(4), pages 471-484, August.
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    4. Kaplow, Louis, 1996. "How Tax Complexity and Enforcement Affect the Equity and Efficiency of the Income Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(1), pages 135-150, March.
    5. Cowell, F A, 1990. "Tax Sheltering and the Cost of Evasion," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(1), pages 231-243, January.
    6. Boadway, Robin & Marchand, Maurice & Pestieau, Pierre, 1991. "Optimal linear income taxation in models with occupational choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 133-162, November.
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    8. Alessandro Balestrino & Umberto Galmarini, 2005. "Presumptive Taxation, Markets and Redistribution," Politica economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 165-186.
    9. Kaplow, Louis, 1996. "How Tax Complexity and Enforcement Affect the Equity and Efficiency of the Income Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(1), pages 135-50, March.
    10. Joel Slemrod, 2001. "A General Model of the Behavioral Response to Taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(2), pages 119-128, March.
    11. Efraim Sadka & Vito Tanzi, 1992. "A Taxon Gross Assets of Enterprises as a Form of Presumptive Taxation," IMF Working Papers 92/16, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Stern, Nicholas, 1982. "Optimum taxation with errors in administration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 181-211, March.
    13. Joel Slemrod & Shlomo Yitzhaki, 1994. "Analyzing the standard deduction as a presumptive tax," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 1(1), pages 25-34, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shlomo Yitzhaki, 2007. "Cost-Benefit Analysis of Presumptive Taxation," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 63(3), pages 311-326, September.
    2. Bernd Genser & Andreas Reutter, 2007. "Moving Towards Dual Income Taxation in Europe," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 63(3), pages 436-456, September.
    3. Bird, Richard M. & Zolt, Eric M., 2005. "The limited role of the personal income tax in developing countries," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 928-946, December.
    4. Marchese, Carla & Privileggi, Fabio, 2009. "A model of the Italian cut-off system for taxing small businesses," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 127-134, June.
    5. Janet Holtzblatt, 2007. "Implications of Return-Free Tax Systems for the Structure of the Individual Income Tax," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 63(3), pages 327-349, September.

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    Keywords

    tax avoidance; presumptive taxation; redistribution; occupational choice;

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