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Estimating the tax gap

By Hana Zídková


This article describes the methods of estimating the level of tax evasion and summarises the existing quantitative appraisals of this phenomena. In the first part of the text, the term "tax evasion" is defined. In the second part of the paper, direct and indirect methods of estimating the tax gap are explained with the references to studies and reports where these methods are used. These methods include in particular tax audits and the so called "top-down" methods using the discrepancy between the data from two sources. Furthermore, the article reviews the existing papers and studies quantifying the tax gap in various countries and years. The data on VAT gap in 24 European countries in the years 1993 to 2006 are summarised in a table. The estimates of VAT gap produced in two studies are compared and the differences between them analysed. Finally there are recommendations regarding the suitable methods of estimating the tax gaps for the VAT, income tax and excise duty

Topics: tax evasion, tax gap, estimates, top-down method, tax audit
Publisher: 'Univerzita Pardubice'
Year: 2013
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