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Measuring the Invisible: An Overview of and Outlook for Tax Non-Compliance Estimates and Measurement Methods for Switzerland

Summary

This paper gives an overview of tax non-compliance estimates and evaluates the suitability of various tax non-compliance measurement methods for Switzerland. The existing estimates for Switzerland focus strongly on non-declared assets and are based on a limited number of measurement methods. Nevertheless, the estimates range widely, between CHF 106 to over 500 billion for non-declared assets and 12.6 to 35.1 percent for income, for the time period 1970 to today. These estimates could be taken as a starting point for further tax non-compliance research. They should however be verified and supplemented by estimates resulting from other methods as a solid measurement of tax non-compliance requires a comprehensive approach including several methods. Further, the focus should shift from non-declared assets towards non-declared income.

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Correspondence to Felix Schmutz.

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This paper is part of a doctoral thesis of Felix Schmutz at the University of Lucerne. Many thanks to Prof. Christoph Schaltegger, Prof. Rafael Lalive and two anonymous referees for their valuable input and comments.

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Schmutz, F. Measuring the Invisible: An Overview of and Outlook for Tax Non-Compliance Estimates and Measurement Methods for Switzerland. Swiss J Economics Statistics 152, 125–177 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03399425

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  • JEL-Classification
  • E26
  • H26
  • O17

Keywords

  • Shadow Economy
  • Underground Economy
  • Tax Compliance
  • Tax Evasion