The tax system combining a flat tax rate with an exempt minimum income has been largely debated in recent years. Detractors argue that tax systems with these characteristics are less progressive and, hence, they tend to lower the degree of redistribution. In contrast, supporters brandish its simplicity as one of its major advantages as simplicity leads to lower levels of both tax evasion and tax avoidance. This paper presents a framework in which I compare the tax compliance of the same taxpayer under two different tax structures: the one with a flat tax rate featuring a tax exempt income bracket and the one exhibiting increasing marginal tax rates. Provided the condition that in both tax structures the tax burden borne by an honest taxpayer is equivalent, I show that the income declared is higher under the tax structure for which the taxpayer faces a higher marginal rate.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2012|