Optimal Sales Tax Rebates and Tax Enforcement Consumers
We study an optimal commodity taxation problem and show that consumers have an important role as tax enforcers. Firms evade taxes by not issuing sales receipts. Requesting receipts is costly for buyers but forces ?rms to remit taxes to the government. To compensate buyers, the government o¤ers a tax rebate, which has a non-trivial income e¤ect and modi?es the traditional "Ramsey equation". Tax-enforcement policies a¤ect buyers?allocations directly and via the standard changes in the good?s price. The optimal policies depend on buyers? auditing and ?rms?concealment technologies. Welfare is higher if consumer auditing is the only tax enforcement policy.
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