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Fiscal structural reforms: the effect of card payments on vat revenue in the euro area

George Hondroyiannis () and Dimitrios Papaoikonomou ()

No 249, Working Papers from Bank of Greece

Abstract: The use of traceable payment methods presents an additional reform option for improving tax compliance. As regards consumption, card payments are the main alternative to cash in the euro area. Although the use of micro-data has provided clear evidence in favour of increasing information trails, time series evidence on the role of card payments in increasing compliance have been scarce and confined to the recent experience of Greece. The effect of card payments on VAT revenue is investigated using quarterly panel data for the 19 euro area economies covering the period 2003q1-2016q4. Time-varying coefficient methods are employed in order to estimate the country-specific contribution of compliance to revenue growth as a function of card payments. In line with the micro-data literature, the analysis indicates that increasing the share of card payments in private consumption expenditure improves VAT tax compliance. The gains are found to increase: (i) the lower the initial level of card use; (ii) the higher the share of self-employment and (iii) the lower the level of revenue efficiency. The highest benefits are estimated for Greece and Italy.

Keywords: VAT; card payments; tax compliance; time-varying coefficients; Euro area (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H21 H25 H26 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eec, nep-iue, nep-pay and nep-pbe
Date: 2018-09
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