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An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Government Tax and Auditing Policies on the Size of the Underground Economy: The Case of the United States, 1973-94

Author

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  • Cebula, Richard

Abstract

This study empirically examines the impact of federal income tax rates, IRS penalties on unpaid tax liabilities, and audit rates by the Internal Revenue Service on the size of the underground economy in the United States. Recent data generated by Edgar Feige are used to measure the size of the underground econ­omy. Based on ordinary least squares estimates, it is found that the maximum marginal personal income tax rate raises the size of the underground economy. In addition, the size of the underground economy is found to be a decreasing function of both the percentage of tax returns audited and the penalties imposed by the IRS on unpaid taxes.

Suggested Citation

  • Cebula, Richard, 1996. "An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Government Tax and Auditing Policies on the Size of the Underground Economy: The Case of the United States, 1973-94," MPRA Paper 49810, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:49810
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/49810/1/MPRA_paper_49810.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Thurman, Quint C, 1991. "Taxpayer Noncompliance and General Prevention: An Expansion of the Deterrence Model," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 46(2), pages 289-298.
    2. Erard, Brian & Feinstein, Jonathan S, 1994. "The Role of Moral Sentiments and Audit Perceptions in Tax Compliance," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 49(Supplemen), pages 70-89.
    3. Klepper, Steven & Nagin, Daniel & Spurr, Stephen, 1991. "Tax Rates, Tax Compliance, and the Reporting of Long-Term Capital Gains," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 46(2), pages 236-251.
    4. Pestieau, Pierre & Possen, Uri & Slutsky, Steve, 1994. "Optimal Differential Taxes and Penalties," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 49(Supplemen), pages 15-27.
    5. Philip Cagan, 1958. "The Demand for Currency Relative to Total Money Supply," NBER Chapters,in: The Demand for Currency Relative to Total Money Supply, pages 1-37 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. de Juan, Ana & Lasheras, Miguel A & Mayo, Rafaela, 1994. "Voluntary Tax Compliant Behavior of Spanish Income Tax Payers," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 49(Supplemen), pages 90-105.
    7. Alm, James & Jackson, Betty & McKee, Michael, 1992. "Institutional Uncertainty and Taxpayer Compliance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 1018-1026, September.
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    9. Phillip Cagan, 1958. "The Demand for Currency Relative to the Total Money Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 303-303.
    10. Slemrod, Joel B, 1985. "An Empirical Test for Tax Evasion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(2), pages 232-238, May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    tax evasion; tax rates; IRS audit rates; IRS penalties;

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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