Tax Amnesties : Theory, Trends, and Some Alternatives

Author/Editor:

Eric Le Borgne ; Katherine Baer

Publication Date:

July 29, 2008

Electronic Access:

Link to Abstract

Summary:

Tax amnesties remain as popular as ever as a tool for raising revenue and increasing tax compliance. International experience, however, shows that the costs of tax amnesty programs often exceed the programs’ benefits. This paper weighs the advantages and disadvantages of tax amnesties, drawing on results from the theoretical literature, econometric evidence, and selected country and U.S. state case studies. The authors conclude that “successful” tax amnesties are the exception rather than the norm. Improvements in tax administration are the essential ingredient in addressing the main problems that tax amnesties seek to address. Indeed, the most successful amnesty programs rely on improving the tax administration’s enforcement capacity. ?Given the potential drawbacks of tax amnesties, a few alternative measures are discussed.

Series:

IMF Special Issues

Frequency:

Monthly

English

Publication Date:

July 29, 2008

ISBN/ISSN:

9781589067363/

Stock No:

ISIEA2008002

Format:

Paper

Pages:

79

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