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Corporate Tax Evasion with Agency Costs

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  • Keith J. Crocker
  • Joel Slemrod

Abstract

This paper examines corporate tax evasion in the context of the contractual relationship between the shareholders of a firm and a tax manager who possesses private information regarding the extent of legally permissible reductions in taxable income, and who may also undertake illegal tax evasion. Using a costly state falsification framework, we characterize formally the optimal incentive compensation contract for the tax manager and, in particular, how the form of that contract changes in response to alternative enforcement policies imposed by the taxing authority. The optimal contract may adjust to offset, at least partially, the effect of sanctions against illegal evasion, and we find a new and policy-relevant non-equivalence result: penalties imposed on the tax manager are more effective in reducing evasion than are those imposed on shareholders.

Suggested Citation

  • Keith J. Crocker & Joel Slemrod, 2004. "Corporate Tax Evasion with Agency Costs," NBER Working Papers 10690, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10690 Note: PE
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lacker, Jeffrey M & Weinberg, John A, 1989. "Optimal Contracts under Costly State Falsification," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1345-1363, December.
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    14. Lee, Kangoh, 1998. "Tax Evasion, Monopoly, and Nonneutral Profit Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 2), pages 333-38, June.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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