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Cover of: Fining Tax Evasion: Is Adjusting Fines to Level of Income Fairer Than Basing Fines Solely on the Evaded Amount?
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Stephan Muehlbacher, Thomas Sabitzer

Fining Tax Evasion: Is Adjusting Fines to Level of Income Fairer Than Basing Fines Solely on the Evaded Amount?

Section: Articles
Volume 78 (2022) / Issue 3, pp. 291-311 (21)
Published 01.07.2022
DOI 10.1628/fa-2022-0011
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  • 10.1628/fa-2022-0011
Summary
Fines for tax evasion are usually based on the amount evaded. The present research shows that laypeople (N = 191) prefer income-adjusted fines in opinion polls, but in the role of a judge they would sometimes act differently. In a factorial survey experiment simulating the negotiation of a court case about tax evasion, fines were adjusted only to the defendant's income when details about the amount of evasion and the evader's income but not about the true tax liability were provided. When participants were informed also about the defendant's full tax liability, they imposed similar fines to high- and low-income earners.