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Session Overview
H07: Filing, Amnesties and Enforcement
Friday, 20/Aug/2021:
9:00am - 10:30am

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9:00am - 9:22am

Tax Enforcement, Revenue and Informality

Prakriti Joshi1, Debasis Mondal2

1IIT Delhi, India; 2IIT Delhi, India

In this paper, we explore the relationship between informality, tax enforcement and tax revenue. Previous studies have explored the relationship between taxes and the size of the informal sector and have observed a monotonic relation between the two. However, on observing the data of developing countries, we find that the relationship between the size of the informal sector and the tax rate is non-monotonic, inverted-U shape in nature. In this paper, we build a theoretical framework involving government expenditure of tax revenue in the form of productive public services and tax enforcement which allows us to unravel the correlation between the size of the informal sector and taxes. Our numerical results suggest that as tax rates increase in a developing economy, the informal sector grows initially and then begins to shrink because of the interplay between tax enforcement and tax rates.

Joshi-Tax Enforcement, Revenue and Informality-527.pdf

9:22am - 9:45am

Optional (Non-)Filing and Effective Taxation

Tobias Hauck, Luisa Wallossek

LMU Munich, Germany

Tax non-filing is legal in more than thirty countries worldwide. Using German administrative tax data, we examine the effect of such optional (non-)filing systems: Low-income taxpayers are both more likely not to file and to over-remit taxes, aggregating to total over-remittances of 950 million € in 2014. Because low-income non-filers face higher effective average tax rates than foreseen by the schedule, this reduces the effective tax progressivity. Non-filing also increases effective marginal tax rates which imposes distortionary effects for non-filers with no effects on other taxpayers, leading to unexploited tax revenue potential. We use two reform proposals to quantify this potential.

Hauck-Optional (Non-)Filing and Effective Taxation-453.pdf

9:45am - 10:07am

Tax Evasion and Forgiveness

Himawan Saputro

University of Kentucky, United States of America

This paper studies the determinants of tax evasion and the compliance impacts of forgiving tax evaders using the 2016 Indonesian tax amnesty program where the government offers a set of discounted tax rates and penalties exemption on declaration of unreported net assets as an equivalent of unreported income. I document that intensity in withholding tax, level of reported income, and types of employment influence the decision to evade taxes. The result is consistent with the argument that external factors motivate tax compliance. I further compare reported income between wage earners and self-employed individuals in each of income percentile before and after the amnesty and find that the program provides no meaningful effect except limitedly to those in the very top of income distribution, e.g., around 6.1 percent increase in reported net income. This limited impact may be driven by the Indonesian size-based tax administration.

Saputro-Tax Evasion and Forgiveness-523.pdf

10:07am - 10:30am

How to Make Multinational Automatic Information Exchange on Financial Account Data Work

Elisa Casi-Eberhard1, Jakob Miethe2, Barbara Stage3

1Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), Norway; 2University of Munich (LMU), Germany; 3ZEW Mannheim & University of Mannheim, Germany

The last decade has seen an unprecedented surge in international cooperation to reduce international tax evasion via tax havens. The most recent initiatives to target individual tax evasion implement automatic exchange of financial accounts information across countries - with the introduction of FATCA and the CRS. We study whether these two existing systems lead to different tax evader reaction. Employing bilateral data on cross-border deposits, we find that tax evaders’ reaction to FATCA is significantly stronger than the CRS one. We hypothesize that a crucial difference between FATCA and the CRS, which determines the success of the former,

is how the two systems deal with an important agency problem that arises in the context of international tax evasion via financial intermediaries.

Casi-Eberhard-How to Make Multinational Automatic Information Exchange-421.pdf

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