Do Higher Tax Rates Encourage/Discourage Tax Compliance?


In this survey, we try to summarize what economists know about how increasing tax rate affects both tax evasion and the willingness to pay taxes. We show how this apparently trivial question presents puzzling results. This paper introduces the main contributions that have attempted to explain the apparent contradiction between the empirical evidence on the reaction of taxpayers to changes in tax rate levels and the results obtained by the standard models of tax evasion. In an effort to shed some light on this issue, the paper primarily concludes that there is more than enough room for further research on the relationship between tax evasion and tax rates given the many gaps in the literature concerning on this topic.


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M. Freire-Serén and J. Panadés, "Do Higher Tax Rates Encourage/Discourage Tax Compliance?," Modern Economy, Vol. 4 No. 12, 2013, pp. 809-817. doi: 10.4236/me.2013.412086.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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