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Tax Enforcement for SMEs: Lessons from the Italian Experience?

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  • Giampaolo Arachi and Alessandro Santoro

Abstract

The paper aims to provide a detailed description and evaluation of the Italian experience in tax auditing and enforcement for SMEs which we believe may have some lessons for developing countries with similar sized shadow economies and large numbers of micro-enterprises. We focus on an audit strategy known as “Studi di settore”, which roughly translates as “business sector analyses”, which relies on statistical methods to select the taxpayers to be audited. We show how Studi di settore can be used as an audit rule or as a presumptive tax and we compare it with optimal audit rules and with alternative presumptive taxes on the basis of the available evidence for Italy. We discuss whether Studi di settore may be a useful policy tool for establishing presumptive taxation for SMEs in developing countries when resources for tax auditing are scarce. A presumptive regime may naturally evolve in a full-fledged audit selection mechanism following the development of the private and public sectors.

Suggested Citation

  • Giampaolo Arachi and Alessandro Santoro, 2008. "Tax Enforcement for SMEs: Lessons from the Italian Experience?," Taxation eJournal of Tax Research , ATAX, University of New South Wales.
  • Handle: RePEc:nsw:discus:523
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    File URL: http://www.atax.unsw.edu.au/ejtr
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    Cited by:

    1. Bruno Chiarini & Simona Monteleone, 2016. "Discretionary policy, strategic complementarity and tax evasion: a strategic analysis of the Italian audit mechanism," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 33(1), pages 99-117, April.
    2. Georgia Kaplanoglou & Vassilis T. Rapanos & Nikolaos Daskalakis, 2016. "Tax compliance behaviour during the crisis: the case of Greek SMEs," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 405-444, December.
    3. Eduardo Zilberman, 2016. "Audits or Distortions: The Optimal Scheme to Enforce Self-Employment Income Taxes," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 18(4), pages 511-544, August.
    4. Elek, Peter & Köll?, János & Reizer, Balázs & Szabó, Péter A., 2011. "Detecting Wage Under-reporting Using a Double Hurdle Model," IZA Discussion Papers 6224, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. János Köllö, 2010. "Hungary: The Consequences of Doubling the Minimum Wage," Chapters,in: The Minimum Wage Revisited in the Enlarged EU, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Bruno Chiarini & Elisabetta Marzano & Friedrich Schneider, 2013. "Tax rates and tax evasion: an empirical analysis of the long-run aspects in Italy," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 273-293, April.
    7. James, Simon & Edwards, Alison, 2010. "An annotated bibliography of tax compliance and tax compliance costs," MPRA Paper 26106, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    tax evasion; shadow economy; SMEs; audit strategies; presumptive taxation; Italy; developing countries;

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