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Voluntary Disclosure Schemes for Offshore Tax Evasion

Author

Listed:
  • Matthew Gould

    (Brunel University, UK)

  • Matthew D. Rablen

    (University of Sheffield, UK)

Abstract

Tax authorities worldwide are implementing voluntary disclosure schemes to recover tax on offshore investments. The US and UK, in particular, have implemented such schemes in response to bulk acquisitions of information on offshore holdings, recent examples of which are the Paradise and Panama papers. Schemes offer affected investors the opportunity to make a voluntary disclosure, with reduced fine rates for truthful disclosure. Might such incentives, once anticipated by investors, simply en-courage evasion in the fi rst place? We characterize the investor/tax authority game with and without a scheme, allowing for the possibility that some offshore investment has legitimate economic motives. We show that a scheme increases net expected tax revenue, decreases illegal offshore investment, increases onshore investment, but could either increase or decrease legal offshore investment. The optimal disclosure scheme offers maximal incentives for truthful disclosure by imposing the minimum allowable rate of fine.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Gould & Matthew D. Rablen, 2019. "Voluntary Disclosure Schemes for Offshore Tax Evasion," Working Papers 2019006, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2019006
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    File URL: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/economics/research/serps/articles/2019_006
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    voluntary disclosure; offshore tax evasion; tax amnesty; third party information;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation

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