Confronting the Shadow Economy

Confronting the Shadow Economy

Evaluating Tax Compliance and Behaviour Policies

Colin C. Williams

Beginning with a review of the extent of undeclared work, the author discusses the discrepancies between regions and the potential impacts of the economic crisis, comparing the nature of the potential solutions available with those actually adopted. The way forward, the book concludes, is to move away from increasing the costs of engaging in hidden work using repressive measures, and concentrate more on developing initiatives that enhance the benefits of engaging in declared work and increase the likelihood of compliance by engendering a commitment to tax morality.

Chapter 8: Supply-side incentives for individuals

Colin C. Williams

Subjects: business and management, business ethics and trust, economics and finance, economic crime and corruption, labour economics, public choice theory, public finance, politics and public policy, political economy

Extract

The recognition that the objective is to shift shadow work into the declared economy has moved attention away from purely detecting and punishing non-compliance. Rather than solely increase the costs of operating in the shadow economy, measures are also required to make it easier and more beneficial to operate in the declared economy. Chapter 7 reviewed and evaluated measures to make it easier or more beneficial for businesses to work on a declared basis. The aim of this chapter is to evaluate the policy measures used to make it easier or more beneficial for another group of the population to work on a declared basis, namely individual taxpayers. These measures seek to simplify compliance, introduce new categories of declared work, provide direct tax and social security incentives, smooth the transition to self-employment, provide society-wide and individual-level amnesties and require the attendance of the unemployed. Here, each of these measures is reviewed and evaluated in turn as tools for shifting work in the shadow economy into the declared economy.

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