Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Behavioral dynamics of tax compliance under an information services initiative

McKee, Michael and Siladke, Caleb and Vossler, Christian A. (2011): Behavioral dynamics of tax compliance under an information services initiative.

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Abstract

Tax authorities utilize the audit process, imposing penalties on tax evaders, as their primary means of enforcement. In recent years, a “service” paradigm, whereby tax authorities provide information about correct tax reporting to taxpayers, has shown the potential to further “encourage” correct tax reporting. This research utilizes laboratory experiments to investigate the behavioral dynamics pertaining to information acquisition and tax evasion. The results show that the overall effect of a helpful information service is to decrease tax evasion. Further, an audit has the behavioral effect of lowering information acquisition rates and increasing evasion immediately after experiencing a penalty. This effect persists (although diminishes) in subsequent tax reporting decisions.

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