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The Effect of Awareness and Incentives on Tax Evasion

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  • Annette Alstadsæter
  • Martin Jacob

Abstract

We examine the role of tax incentives, tax awareness, and complexity in tax evasion. We observe a specific type of tax evasion among business owners in Swedish administrative panel data, after the tax authority has approved all tax returns. For the period 2006–2009, approximately 5% of tax returns overstate a claimed dividend allowance. Tax awareness decreases and complexity increases the likelihood of misreporting. Our results indicate that some observed misreporting could be accidental, while some misreporting is deliberate tax evasion. We identify a positive and significant effect of tax rates on tax evasion, by exploiting a large kink in the tax schedule. The majority of misreporting cases remains undetected by the tax authority. Self-correction of tax evasion by taxpayers is the dominant type of detection.

Suggested Citation

  • Annette Alstadsæter & Martin Jacob, 2013. "The Effect of Awareness and Incentives on Tax Evasion," CESifo Working Paper Series 4369, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4369
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    Cited by:

    1. Eichfelder, Sebastian & Lau, Mona, 2015. "Capitalization of capital gains taxes: (In)attention and turn-of-the-year returns," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 195, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    2. Sebastian Eichfelder & Mona Lau, 2015. "Capitalization of capital gains taxes: (In)attention and turn-of-the-year returns," FEMM Working Papers 150019, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    3. Eichfelder, Sebastian & Lau, Mona, 2014. "Capital gains taxes and asset prices: The impact of tax awareness and procrastination," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 170, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    4. Eichfelder, Sebastian & Lau, Mona, 2014. "Capital gains taxes and asset prices: The impact of tax awareness and procrastination," Discussion Papers 2014/17, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    5. Eichfelder, Sebastian & Lau, Mona, 2015. "Capitalization of capital gains taxes: (In)attention and turn-of-the-year returns," Discussion Papers 2015/33, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    6. Jolana Stejskalova, 2016. "Impact of the information on tax burden on the stock market," MENDELU Working Papers in Business and Economics 2016-62, Mendel University in Brno, Faculty of Business and Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    tax evasion; tax compliance; tax enforcement; tax awareness; detection;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance

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