The indirect effects of auditing taxpayers
Ratto, Marisa; Thomas, Richard; Ulph, David (2013), The indirect effects of auditing taxpayers, Public Finance Review, 41, 3, p. 317-333. 10.1177/1091142112448414
TypeArticle accepté pour publication ou publié
Journal namePublic Finance Review
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Abstract (EN)In this paper we focus on the effects of investigations on tax compliance. Results from empirical studies suggest that the effects of audits are not only in terms of recovered unpaid tax (direct effects), but there are also indirect effects in terms of future better compliance in the rest of the community. The evidence suggests that such indirect effects tend to outweigh the direct effect. However, current policy decisions of how to allocate investigation resources across different groups of taxpayers generally neglect the indirect effects, generating a potential resource misallocation issue. With the aim to clarify a possible mechanism through which the indirect effects work and hence to inform any policy recommendations, we model tax compliance as a social norm and decompose the total effect of an increase in the audit probability into a direct effect (increased expected ﬁne) and a multiplier effect due to taxpayers’ interdependencies.
Subjects / Keywordsoptimal audit rule; tax evasion; social norm; opportunities to evade
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