ICePP director Jorge Martinez-Vazquez and University of Zaragoza, Spain economist Eduardo Sanz-Arcega recently released a working paper looking at tax compliance in Spain titled “Can Prepopulated Tax Returns Enhance Tax Compliance? The Effects of the Spanish Renta Web Initiative from a Sociology of Taxation Perspective.”
Spain’s tax authorities prepopulate the majority of filers’ tax returns, a policy substantially expanded in 2016 through the Renta Web program. The authors use a novel dataset stemming from this program to analyze several effects of pre-populating tax returns, primarily taxpayers’ tax morale and tax filing behavior.
The results show that the relationship between making changes on the prefilled tax form and the likelihood of facing an audit do influence Spaniards’ tax morale, as well as their perceptions about tax filing behavior. Moreover, pre-population features by themselves do not have a clear impact on tax morale or tax filing behavior. The authors discuss several policy implications that arise from the results.
Read the full working paper here.
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The International Center for Public Policy has published a working paper series since 1997 to disseminate academic research quickly and to stimulate discussion that can expand knowledge, instill optimal practice and build capacity in the public sector around the world to improve human well-being.
Our primary areas of interest are fiscal decentralization and local governance, tax policy, and public budgeting and fiscal management in the global context. Some papers may focus on the United States if the results have international relevance.
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