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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1895572
 
 

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Is Knowledge of the Tax Law Socially Desirable?


David A. Weisbach


University of Chicago - Law School; Center for Robust Decisionmaking on Climate & Energy Policy (RDCEP)


U of Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 563

Abstract:     
This paper considers whether knowledge of the tax law is socially desirable. Unlike other laws, which most often attempt to channel behavior, revenue raising taxes attempt to avoid changing behavior, so it is not obvious whether or when knowledge of the tax law is desirable. I argue that whether knowledge of the tax law is desirable depends on three factors: expectations about the tax in the absence of knowledge, the type of tax, and the quality of the tax. I then apply this to various policy decisions where knowledge of the tax law is a key variable, including the regulation of tax advisors, hidden taxes (such phase-outs of exemptions), and whether individual have the socially optimal incentive to seek knowledge of the tax law.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 43

Keywords: taxation, law, tax advice, uncertainty

JEL Classification: H20, H21, H26, K34

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Date posted: July 26, 2011 ; Last revised: July 27, 2011

Suggested Citation

Weisbach, David A., Is Knowledge of the Tax Law Socially Desirable?. U of Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 563. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1895572 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1895572

Contact Information

David Weisbach (Contact Author)
University of Chicago - Law School ( email )
1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-3342 (Phone)
773-702-0730 (Fax)
Center for Robust Decisionmaking on Climate & Energy Policy (RDCEP) ( email )
5735 S. Ellis Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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