Fighting income tax evasion with positive rewards

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14 January 2014

This article provides experimental evidence regarding the influence of positive rewards on income tax evasion behavior. In particular, the authors experimentally test the impact of positive rewards in the form of individual lottery winnings for fully compliant taxpayers. Among other things, the authors find that these positive rewards lead to a higher rate of tax compliance. Moreover, there are two gender effects. Males not only evade taxes to a much higher extent than females they also show a stronger positive response to the lottery scheme. This allows us to draw some interesting policy recommendations on the efficient use of rewards as a complement of deterrence policies for fighting tax evasion.