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The effects of rewards on tax compliance decisions

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  • Fochmann, Martin
  • Kroll, Eike B.

Abstract

We analyze how the redistribution of tax revenues influences tax compliance behavior by applying different reward mechanisms. In our experiment, subjects have to make two decisions. In the first stage, subjects decide on the contribution to a public good. In the second stage, subjects declare their income from the first stage for taxation. Our main results are threefold: First, from an aggregated perspective, rewards have a negative overall effect on tax compliance. Second, we observe that rewards affect the decision of taxpayers asymmetrically. In particular, rewards have either no effect (for those who are rewarded) or a negative effect (for those who are not rewarded) on tax compliance. Thus, if a high compliance rate of taxpayers is preferred, rewards should not be used by the tax authority. Third, we find an inverse u-shaped relationship between public good contribution and tax compliance. In particular, up to a certain level, tax compliance increases with subjects' own contributions to the public good. Above this level, however, tax compliance decreases with the public good contribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Fochmann, Martin & Kroll, Eike B., 2014. "The effects of rewards on tax compliance decisions," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 163, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:arqudp:163
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    Cited by:

    1. Christoph Engel, 2016. "Experimental Criminal Law. A Survey of Contributions from Law, Economics and Criminology," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2016_07, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    2. Fochmann, Martin & Wolf, Nadja, 2015. "Mental accounting in tax evasion decisions: An experiment on underreporting and overdeducting," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 186, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    3. Enrique Fatas & Daniele Nosenzo & Martin Sefton & Daniel John Zizzo, 2015. "A self-funding reward mechanism for tax compliance," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 15-16, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    4. repec:spr:qualqt:v:52:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11135-017-0471-1 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    tax evasion; tax compliance; redistribution of taxes; tax affectation; rewarding; public good; behavioral economics; experimental economics;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies

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