nep-pub New Economics Papers
on Public Finance
Issue of 2011‒05‒30
four papers chosen by
Kwang Soo Cheong
Johns Hopkins University

  1. The hidden burden of the income tax: Compliance costs of German individuals By Blaufus, Kay; Eichfelder, Sebastian; Hundsdoerfer, Jochen
  2. Economic crisis and taxation in Europe By Luigi, Bernardi
  3. Taxing Soft Drinks By Roy Bahl
  4. The Taxation of Gambling In Africa By Francois Vaillancourt

  1. By: Blaufus, Kay; Eichfelder, Sebastian; Hundsdoerfer, Jochen
    Abstract: We analyze the compliance costs of individual taxpyers resulting from the German income tax. using survey data that has been raised between December 2008 and April 2009, we find evidence for a considerably higher cost burden of self-employed taxpaxers. Taxable income and the demand for external support are positively correlated with compliance costs, while the time effort of female taxpayers is significantly lower. We also find evidence for a positive correlation of education and tax knowledge with the compliance burden. By contrast, a joint assessment of a married couple seems to reduce the monetized time effort. The aggregated cost burden of German income taxpayers amounts to 6.1-7.2 billion €, respectively 3.2-3.7 % of the income tax revenue in 2007. This estimate is higher than latest projections in a number of other European countries like Spain and Sweden, but significantly lower than results for the United States and Australia. --
    Keywords: tax complexity,tax compliance costs,compliance burden,red tape,personal income tax
    JEL: H21 H23 H25 H26 H83
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Luigi, Bernardi
    Abstract: The recent economic crisis and taxation in the advanced countries - especially in the European nations - are linked in several ways. The tax systems may have exacerbated the crisis, and this raises the question of the need for a better system of taxation in certain economic sectors, especially in the banking sector. It is worthwhile examining the various different effects of the crisis on different kinds of tax revenue, as a result of both the automatic stabilizers and the discretional measures which were adopted to sustain the economies. We are going to show that while the former have had a relatively substantial impact, the latter have been of negligible effect. The paper initially offers a critical overview of the just mentioned topics. The European countries are now faced with a difficult trade - off between further tax reductions to sustain economic recovery, and the raising of taxes in order to help stabilize public budgets and debts. Broadly speaking, the most suggested solution consists in the idea of raising taxes whilst making them more growth - friendly. With this in mind, the paper then reconsiders and compares the latest, authoritative proposals for tax reform which in recent years have been proposed not only by international economic organizations, but also by studies in the field. The longstanding principles of broadening the tax base, reducing rates and simplifying the tax system still appear to be at the order of the day. The idea of shifting the tax burden away from labour and capital, whilst increasing taxes on consumption, properties and environmental resources, has also received large support. It is again suggested that efficiency - induced neutrality should characterize the design of the main taxes. While those political factors that have impeded reforms in recent years are still at work, we should remember that tax systems also have other targets than that of favouring neutrality - efficiency, and that in some countries (including Italy) the most urgent, radical reform required is the downsizing of an abnormal level of tax evasion.
    Keywords: Economic Crisis; Taxation; Europe
    JEL: H20 H25 H24
    Date: 2011–05–18
  3. By: Roy Bahl (Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University)
    Abstract: This paper reviews the practice of levying an excise tax on soft drinks in sub-saharan African countries, and evaluates this practice against theoretical norms for levying an excise tax. The question is whether such taxes are justified or whether they are discriminatory and impose a welfare cost on the country. The paper concludes that the sin tax justification does not hold for soft drinks, nor do income distribution justifications. Arguably the best reason for such a levy is revenue, but this argument is weakened by a higher price elasticity of demand than usually supposed.
    Date: 2011–04–08
  4. By: Francois Vaillancourt (University of Montreal)
    Abstract: The taxation of gambling in Africa as a whole appears to have been the object of little attention. In this paper, we first present the importance of gambling for Africa from a world perspective then disaggregate that within Africa. We then turn to the nature and importance of taxation of gambling, focusing on the major markets identified in the first part of the paper. In the third part we present the available evidence on the incidence of gambling in Africa which is limited to South Africa.
    Date: 2011–05–10

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