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On the Redistributive Properties of Presumptive Taxation

Alessandro Balestrino and Umberto Galmarini

No 1381, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo

Abstract: Presumptive taxation, in which an income proxy is used as tax base, has been and is still used today in countries with very diverse situations - developing, transition and developed countries. Usually, this form of taxation is thought of as a revenue-raising device in presence of widespread imperfect tax compliance. We investigate the question of whether presumptive taxation can be used as a redistributive instrument. To this end, we employ an occupational choice model in which an individual can be either an entrepreneur or a worker. We allow for different abilities to dodge taxes across social classes, and consider both the case in which a conventional income tax is in place alongside presumptive taxation and the case in which only presumptive taxation is operating. We argue that a revenue-neutral reform introducing a lump-sum presumptive tax based on occupational choice can improve social welfare, and sometimes even lead to a Pareto-improvement.

Keywords: tax avoidance; presumptive taxation; redistribution; occupational choice (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2005
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-pbe and nep-pub
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (6)

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