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Who Participates in Tax Avoidance?

  • Annette Alstadsæter
  • Martin Jacob

This paper analyzes the sources of heterogeneity in legal tax avoidance strategies across individuals. Three conditions are required for a taxpayer to participate in tax avoidance: incentive, access, and awareness. Using rich Swedish administrative panel data with a unique link between corporate and individual tax returns, we analyze individual participation in legal tax planning around the 2006 Swedish tax reform. Our results suggest that closely held corporations are utilized to facilitate income shifting across tax bases to reduce the individual’s overall tax burden. We find that both tax incentives and awareness of tax incentives impact the decision to access income-shifting opportunities. Our results show that factors explaining participation in legal tax avoidance substantially differ from those explaining participation in illegal tax evasion.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2013/wp-cesifo-2013-04/cesifo1_wp4219.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4219.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4219
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  1. Melvin Stephens Jr. & Jennifer Ward-Batts, 2001. "The Impact of Separate Taxation on the Intra-Household Allocation of Assets: Evidence from the UK," NBER Working Papers 8380, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Fortin, Bernard & Lacroix, Guy & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2004. "Tax Evasion and Social Interactions," IZA Discussion Papers 1359, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Amy Finkelstein, 2007. "E-ZTax: Tax Salience and Tax Rates," NBER Working Papers 12924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Wojciech Kopczuk, 2006. "Bequest and Tax Planning: Evidence From Estate Tax Returns," NBER Working Papers 12701, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Elschner, Christina, 2013. "Special tax regimes and the choice of organizational form: Evidence from the European Tonnage Taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 206-216.
  10. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Martin B. Knudsen & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Søren Pedersen & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Unwilling or Unable to Cheat? Evidence From a Tax Audit Experiment in Denmark," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 651-692, 05.
  11. Raj Chetty & Adam Looney & Kory Kroft, 2009. "Salience and Taxation: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1145-77, September.
  12. Raj Chetty & Emmanuel Saez, 2005. "Dividend Taxes and Corporate Behavior: Evidence from the 2003 Dividend Tax Cut," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 791-833, August.
  13. Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Søren Leth-Pedersen & Peer Ebbesen Skov, 2013. "Tax Reforms and Intertemporal Shifting of Wage Income: Evidence from Danish Monthly Payroll Records," Study Papers 62, Rockwool Foundation Research Unit.
  14. Bastani, Spencer & Selin, Håkan, 2011. "Bunching and Non-Bunching at Kink Points of the Swedish Tax schedule," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2011:12, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  15. Emmanuel Saez, 1999. "Do Taxpayers Bunch at Kink Points?," NBER Working Papers 7366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Austan Goolsbee, 2000. "What Happens When You Tax the Rich? Evidence from Executive Compensation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 352-378, April.
  17. Damon Jones, 2012. "Inertia and Overwithholding: Explaining the Prevalence of Income Tax Refunds," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 158-85, February.
  18. Romanov, Dmitri, 2006. "The corporation as a tax shelter: Evidence from recent Israeli tax changes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1939-1954, November.
  19. Wojciech Kopczuk & Joel Slemrod, 2006. "Putting Firms into Optimal Tax Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 130-134, May.
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