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International Tax Evasion, State Purchases of Confidential Bank Data and Voluntary Disclosures

Listed author(s):
  • Dirk Bethmann

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)

  • Michael Kvasnicka

    ()

    (Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, Universitatsplatz 2, 39016 Magdeburg, Germany)

International tax evasion is a major source of discontent for tax authorities. State purchases of bank data on suspected tax evaders from international tax havens constitute one tool to combat such tax evasion. Increasing the risks of detection, such purchases may spur voluntary disclosures for fear of facing charges for tax fraud. Tax authorities in Germany have made repeated use of this tool in recent years, above all in North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany's most populous federal state. Using self-compiled data for North-Rhine Westphalia on the timing and content of data acquisitions and on monthly voluntary disclosures of international tax evasion involving Swiss banks, we study the effects that such acquisitions had on the evolution of voluntary disclosures over time. Our results show that purchases of data on potential tax evaders had a positive and sizeable effect on voluntary disclosures. Various robustness checks and additional explorations corroborate this conclusion ‘’.

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File URL: http://econ.korea.ac.kr/~ri/WorkingPapers/w1603.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute of Economic Research, Korea University in its series Discussion Paper Series with number 1603.

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Date of creation: 2016
Handle: RePEc:iek:wpaper:1603
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  1. Niels Johannesen & Gabriel Zucman, 2014. "The End of Bank Secrecy? An Evaluation of the G20 Tax Haven Crackdown," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 65-91, February.
  2. Gabriel Zucman, 2014. "Taxing across Borders: Tracking Personal Wealth and Corporate Profits," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 121-148, Fall.
  3. Langenmayr, Dominika, 2014. "Voluntary Disclosure of Evaded Taxes - Increasing Revenues, or Increasing Incentives to Evade?," Discussion Papers in Economics 21359, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Gabriel Zucman, 2013. "The Missing Wealth of Nations: Are Europe and the U.S. net Debtors or net Creditors?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(3), pages 1321-1364.
  5. Joel Slemrod, 2007. "Cheating Ourselves: The Economics of Tax Evasion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 25-48, Winter.
  6. Andreoni, James, 1991. "The desirability of a permanent tax amnesty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 143-159, July.
  7. Malik, Arun S. & Schwab, Robert M., 1991. "The economics of tax amnesties," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 29-49, October.
  8. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
  9. Alm, James & Beck, William, 1993. "Tax Amnesties and Compliance in the Long Run: A Time Series Analysis," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(1), pages 53-60, March.
  10. Sandmo, Agnar, 2005. "The Theory of Tax Evasion: A Retrospective View," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 58(4), pages 643-663, December.
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