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

Author

Listed:
  • Dirk Bethmann

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

  • Michael Kvasnicka

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

Abstract

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.""'

Suggested Citation

  • Dirk Bethmann & Michael Kvasnicka, 2016. "International Tax Evasion, State Purchases of Confidential Bank Data and Voluntary Disclosures," Discussion Paper Series 1603, Institute of Economic Research, Korea University.
  • Handle: RePEc:iek:wpaper:1603
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    File URL: http://econ.korea.ac.kr/~ri/WorkingPapers/w1603.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pietro Battiston & Denvil Duncan & Simona Gamba & Alessandro Santoro, 2016. "The Italian Blitz: a natural experiment on audit publicity and tax compliance," FBK-IRVAPP Working Papers 2016-10, Research Institute for the Evaluation of Public Policies (IRVAPP), Bruno Kessler Foundation.
    2. Marcel Garz & Verena Pagels, 2017. "Cautionary Tales: Celebrities, the News Media, and Participation in Tax Amnesties," CESifo Working Paper Series 6795, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax Evasion; Tax Havens; Whistle-blowers; Tax Data; Voluntary Disclosures;

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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