nep-acc New Economics Papers
on Accounting and Auditing
Issue of 2015‒05‒02
six papers chosen by
Alexander Harin
Modern University for the Humanities

  1. Audits, audit quality and signalling mechanisms: concentrated ownership structures By Marianne, Ojo
  2. Tax Compliance and Information Provision: A Field Experiment with Small Firms By Doerrenberg, Philipp; Schmitz, Jan
  3. Towards Complete Balance Sheets in the National Accounts: The case of Mineral and Energy Resources By Paul Schreyer; C. Obst
  4. Factors Influencing Unincorporated Enterprises to Register under Value Added Tax (VAT): An Analysis with Enterprises Survey Data. By Mukherjee, Sacchidananda; Rao, R. Kavita
  5. Reforming the Tax on Immovable Property: Taking Care of the Unloved By Hansjörg Blöchliger
  6. A bird’s eye view on 20 years of tax-benefit reforms in Belgium By André Decoster; Serio Perelman; Dieter Vandelannoote; Toon Vanheukelom; Gerlinde Verbist

  1. By: Marianne, Ojo
    Abstract: Do jurisdictions with concentrated ownership structures require less reliance on audits as corporate governance mechanisms and devices? Why do concentrated ownership structures still prevail in certain jurisdictions which are considered to be “market based corporate governance systems”? More importantly, if failures and causes of recent financial crises are principally attributable to the fact that market based corporate governance mechanisms, such as financial regulators, are not optimally performing their functions, why is the role of audits still paramount in such jurisdictions? These are amongst some of the questions which this paper attempts to address. The ever increasing growth of institutional investors in jurisdictions – particularly those jurisdictions with predominantly concentrated ownership structures, with their increased stakes in corporate equity, also raises the issue of accountability and the question as regards whether increased accountability is fostered where institutional investors assume a greater role – as opposed to position which exists where increased stake of family holdings (family controlled structures) arises.
    Keywords: audit quality; corporate governance; concentrated ownership structures; capital market economies; institutional investors
    JEL: D8 E5 G3 K2 M4
    Date: 2013–12–28
  2. By: Doerrenberg, Philipp (ZEW Mannheim); Schmitz, Jan (University of Lausanne)
    Abstract: We study a field experiment on tax compliance in Slovenia. Small accounting companies were randomly assigned to an untreated control group and two treatment groups. Companies in the first treatment group received a letter that highlighted the importance of paying taxes and informed about the likelihood of becoming subject to an audit. In the second treatment group, tax officers from the tax authorities handed out in person the same letter that companies in the first treatment group received by post. The results indicate that such letters can increase compliance, and trigger even more compliance if handed over in person. These findings are in line with the theoretical predictions that we derive to rationalize the experiment.
    Keywords: tax compliance, audits, randomized field experiment, tax authority, information provision
    JEL: H20 H32 H50 C93
    Date: 2015–04
  3. By: Paul Schreyer; C. Obst
    Abstract: Despite its importance, regular measurement of the value of natural resources at national level is still in its infancy and often disconnected from valuation approaches for other assets. We show that there exists a consistent approach towards valuation that applies to subsoil assets and produced capital alike. We further align accounting in physical and monetary terms and construct standard volume and price indexes of energy and mineral resources with an application to Australia. Finally, we examine the link between our measure of subsoil wealth and indicators of sustainability. Overall, this paper demonstrates how the bodies of work on capital theory, index number measurement and growth accounting on the one hand, and valuation and measurement of natural resources on the other can be aligned. From a practical accounting perspective this alignment should aid in the implementation of broader measures of wealth at national level which are required for policy and analysis.<BR>En dépit de leur importance dans l’estimation des richesses d’un pays, les ressources naturelles commencent à peine à être prises en compte de façon systématique et sont bien souvent évaluées indépendamment des autres actifs. Dans ce rapport, nous verrons qu’il existe une approche cohérente pouvant s’appliquer aussi bien à l’évaluation des richesses du sous-sol qu’à celles du capital produit. Nous combinerons comptabilités physique et monétaire et définirons un indice des prix et du volume de l’énergie et des ressources naturelles avec une application à l’Australie. Enfin, nous examinerons le lien entre notre mesure des richesses du sous-sol et les indicateurs de développement durable. Nous démontrerons qu’il est possible d’aligner, d’un côté, les travaux sur la théorie du capital, la mesure des indices et la comptabilité de la croissance et, de l’autre, la valorisation et la mesure des ressources naturelles. Concrètement, cet alignement devrait permettre de mesurer plus précisément l’étendue des richesses au niveau national, et donc offrir une meilleure analyse servant de base aux politiques mises en place.
    Date: 2015–04–07
  4. By: Mukherjee, Sacchidananda (National Institute of Public Finance and Policy); Rao, R. Kavita (National Institute of Public Finance and Policy)
    Abstract: Unincorporated enterprises often bypass formal regulations in general and taxation in particular. However, escaping formal regulations does not always favour business of unincorporated enterprises and attracts multiple sources of exploitation (e.g., paying bribe to local administration, police and politicians). In other words, the benefits of that enterprises could reap by becoming part of the formal regulatory system often exceeds the costs of becoming a formal entity. Bringing unincorporated enterprises under taxation system is a challenge often faces by tax administrators and it is in this regard the present study explores the factors which influence decision of unincorporated enterprises to get registered with State tax authority. However, registration with State tax authority does not imply that the enterprises have to pay taxes and/or file return if they are not active or annual turnover does not exceed the threshold level. The study throws up interesting results for policy makers and tax administrators.
    Keywords: Tax Registration ; Indirect Tax ; Unincorporated Enterprises ; State Sales Tax/VAT Registration ; Partnership Firms ; Proprietary Enterprises ; Probit Model ; India
    Date: 2015–04
  5. By: Hansjörg Blöchliger
    Abstract: The tax on immovable property recently started to regain its former significance, but the tax yield still remains low, with slightly more than 1% of GDP and wide variation across countries. Against this background this paper surveys property tax policy in OECD countries and analyses the efficiency, distributional and stabilisation properties of property tax. Despite rising house prices, property tax revenues are modest, because tax values of property are set below market values; and because myriads of tax exemptions reduce the tax base and tax revenues further. While property taxes are considered the least harmful to growth, a pure land tax is preferable to a tax on investment. Property taxes can be anything from progressive to regressive, depending on tax incidence and the distribution of immovable property across income groups. Property taxes tend to stabilise house prices, although the effect is rather small. Finally, property taxes can underpin sustainable land use. Political economy factors largely explain resistance against property tax reform, which, among others, might include measures for poor and cash-strapped households. Property taxes are an overwhelmingly sub-national tax, and property tax reforms that include reforms of intergovernmental fiscal frameworks may turn out to be more successful.<P>Réformer la taxe foncière, parent pauvre du régime fiscal<BR>L’impôt sur la propriété immobilière a récemment commencé à regagner de son ancienne importance, mais les recettes qu’il procure restent faibles, à peine plus de 1 % du PIB et avec de larges variations d’un pays à l’autre. Dans ce contexte, ce document examine les politiques en la matière dans les pays de l’OCDE et analyse les propriétés de l’impôt foncier en termes d’efficacité, de redistribution et de stabilisation. Malgré la hausse des prix des logements, les recettes de l’impôt foncier sont modestes, parce que la valeur fiscale des biens immobiliers est fixée à un niveau inférieur aux prix du marché ; et parce qu’une myriade d’exemptions fiscales réduisent l’assiette d’imposition et minorent les recettes. Les impôts fonciers sont considérés comme les moins préjudiciables à la croissance, et une taxe foncière pure est préférable à une taxe sur l’investissement. Les impôts fonciers peuvent être plus ou moins progressifs ou régressifs, en fonction de l’incidence fiscale et de la distribution des biens immobiliers entre groupes de revenus. Les impôts fonciers ont tendance à stabiliser les prix des logements, bien que cet effet soit assez minime. Enfin, les impôts fonciers peuvent favoriser une utilisation durable des terres. Des facteurs liés à l’économie politique expliquent pour une bonne part la résistance à la réforme de la fiscalité immobilière, qui pourrait englober entre autres des mesures visant les ménages pauvres et à court de liquidités. L’impôt foncier est essentiellement un impôt infranational, et les réformes qui s’emploient également à refondre le cadre budgétaire interadministrations seront probablement plus efficaces.
    Keywords: immovable property tax, local taxation, fiscal federalism, fédéralisme budgétaire, fiscalité locale, impôt sur la propriété immobilière
    JEL: H21 H71 H77
    Date: 2015–04–22
  6. By: André Decoster; Serio Perelman; Dieter Vandelannoote; Toon Vanheukelom; Gerlinde Verbist
    Abstract: Belgium has seen major changes in its tax-benefit system over the past twenty years. These changes have, to a large extent, co-determined the evolution of disposable incomes of Belgian households on one hand, and their incentives to work on the other. In this paper we assess equity and efficiency aspects of changes in tax-benefit policies over the full course of 1992-2012. By simulating effects of current and past tax-benefit policies using the microsimulation model MEFISTO-EUROMOD, we summarize the shifts in policy orientation over this period using two summary measures of redistribution and work incentives. Our three main findings are: 1) the changes in the tax-benefit system have to a large extent been pro-poor and redistribution has been increased; 2) the introduction of an earned income tax credit and the lowering of personal income taxes has contributed to improve work incentives, but this effect was partially eroded by an increase in unemployment benefits since 2000; 3) the results crucially depend on whether one chooses as 'no policy change' counterfactual indexation with inflation or indexation with nominal wage growth.
    Keywords: labour supply, marginal cost of public funds, microsimulation, redistribution, tax-benefit system, taxation
    JEL: H21 H41 J20
    Date: 2015–04

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