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Optimal Tax Base with Administrative fixed Costs


  • Stéphane Gauthier

    () (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)


This note characterizes the optimal base for commodity taxation in the presence of administrative fixed costs varying across goods. For low tax rates, the optimal base comprises all commodities whose discouragement index is greater than the ratio of their administrative costs to the tax they yield.

Suggested Citation

  • Stéphane Gauthier, 2011. "Optimal Tax Base with Administrative fixed Costs," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00639800, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00639800
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Belan, Pascal & Gauthier, Stéphane & Laroque, Guy, 2008. "Optimal grouping of commodities for indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(7), pages 1738-1750, July.
    2. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1979. "A Note on Optimal Taxation and Administrative Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 475-480, June.
    3. Kaplow, Louis, 1990. "Optimal taxation with costly enforcement and evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 221-236, November.
    4. Joel Slemrod & Shlomo Yitzhaki, 1996. "The Costs of Taxation and the Marginal Efficiency Cost of Funds," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(1), pages 172-198, March.
    5. Pascal Belan & Stéphane Gauthier & Guy Laroque, 2005. "The Optimal Grouping of Commodities for Indirect Taxation," Working Papers 2005-15, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    6. Mirrlees, J. A., 1976. "Optimal tax theory : A synthesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 327-358, November.
    7. Mayshar, Joram, 1991. " Taxation with Costly Administration," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93(1), pages 75-88.
    8. Wilson, John Douglas, 1989. "On the Optimal Tax Base for Commodity Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1196-1206, December.
    9. Alm, James, 1996. "What Is an "Optimal'"Tax System?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(1), pages 117-33, March.
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    More about this item


    Indirect taxation; VAT; tax base; administrative costs.; Taxation indirecte; TVA; assiette fiscale; coûts de gestion et d'administration.;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

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