Tax Evasion and Inequality

Publikation: Working paperForskning

Standard

Tax Evasion and Inequality. / Alstadsæter, Annette; Johannesen, Niels; Zucman, Gabriel.

2017.

Publikation: Working paperForskning

Harvard

Alstadsæter, A, Johannesen, N & Zucman, G 2017 'Tax Evasion and Inequality'. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3109300

APA

Alstadsæter, A., Johannesen, N., & Zucman, G. (2017). Tax Evasion and Inequality. CEBI Working Paper Series, Nr. 03/17 https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3109300

Vancouver

Alstadsæter A, Johannesen N, Zucman G. Tax Evasion and Inequality. 2017. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3109300

Author

Alstadsæter, Annette ; Johannesen, Niels ; Zucman, Gabriel. / Tax Evasion and Inequality. 2017. (CEBI Working Paper Series; Nr. 03/17).

Bibtex

@techreport{2edae268978547a0b87622891a0e2849,
title = "Tax Evasion and Inequality",
abstract = "This paper attempts to estimate the size and distribution of tax evasion in rich countries. We combine random audits - the key source used to study tax evasion so far - with new micro-data leaked from large offshore financial institutions - HSBC Switzerland ({"}Swiss leaks{"}) and Mossack Fonseca ({"}Panama Papers{"}) matched to population-wide wealth records in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. We find that tax evasion rises sharply with wealth, a phenomenon random audits fail to capture. On average about 3{\%} of personal taxes are evaded in Scandinavia, but this figure rises to close to 30{\%} in the top 0.01{\%} of the wealth distribution, a group that includes households with more than $45 million in net wealth. A simple model of the supply of tax evasion services can explain why evasion rises steeply with wealth. Taking tax evasion into account increases the rise in inequality seen in tax data since the 1970s markedly, highlighting the need to move beyond tax data to capture income and wealth at the top, even in countries where tax compliance is generally high. We also find that after reducing tax evasion - by using tax amnesties - tax evaders do not legally avoid taxes more. This result suggests that fighting tax evasion can be an effective way to collect more tax revenue from the very wealthy.",
keywords = "tax evasion, inequality, tax havens, tax gap, tax amnesties",
author = "Annette Alstads{\ae}ter and Niels Johannesen and Gabriel Zucman",
year = "2017",
doi = "10.2139/ssrn.3109300",
language = "English",
series = "CEBI Working Paper Series",
number = "03/17",
type = "WorkingPaper",

}

RIS

TY - UNPB

T1 - Tax Evasion and Inequality

AU - Alstadsæter, Annette

AU - Johannesen, Niels

AU - Zucman, Gabriel

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - This paper attempts to estimate the size and distribution of tax evasion in rich countries. We combine random audits - the key source used to study tax evasion so far - with new micro-data leaked from large offshore financial institutions - HSBC Switzerland ("Swiss leaks") and Mossack Fonseca ("Panama Papers") matched to population-wide wealth records in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. We find that tax evasion rises sharply with wealth, a phenomenon random audits fail to capture. On average about 3% of personal taxes are evaded in Scandinavia, but this figure rises to close to 30% in the top 0.01% of the wealth distribution, a group that includes households with more than $45 million in net wealth. A simple model of the supply of tax evasion services can explain why evasion rises steeply with wealth. Taking tax evasion into account increases the rise in inequality seen in tax data since the 1970s markedly, highlighting the need to move beyond tax data to capture income and wealth at the top, even in countries where tax compliance is generally high. We also find that after reducing tax evasion - by using tax amnesties - tax evaders do not legally avoid taxes more. This result suggests that fighting tax evasion can be an effective way to collect more tax revenue from the very wealthy.

AB - This paper attempts to estimate the size and distribution of tax evasion in rich countries. We combine random audits - the key source used to study tax evasion so far - with new micro-data leaked from large offshore financial institutions - HSBC Switzerland ("Swiss leaks") and Mossack Fonseca ("Panama Papers") matched to population-wide wealth records in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. We find that tax evasion rises sharply with wealth, a phenomenon random audits fail to capture. On average about 3% of personal taxes are evaded in Scandinavia, but this figure rises to close to 30% in the top 0.01% of the wealth distribution, a group that includes households with more than $45 million in net wealth. A simple model of the supply of tax evasion services can explain why evasion rises steeply with wealth. Taking tax evasion into account increases the rise in inequality seen in tax data since the 1970s markedly, highlighting the need to move beyond tax data to capture income and wealth at the top, even in countries where tax compliance is generally high. We also find that after reducing tax evasion - by using tax amnesties - tax evaders do not legally avoid taxes more. This result suggests that fighting tax evasion can be an effective way to collect more tax revenue from the very wealthy.

KW - tax evasion

KW - inequality

KW - tax havens

KW - tax gap

KW - tax amnesties

U2 - 10.2139/ssrn.3109300

DO - 10.2139/ssrn.3109300

M3 - Working paper

T3 - CEBI Working Paper Series

BT - Tax Evasion and Inequality

ER -

ID: 248850254