Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2318581
 
 

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Taxpayer Search for Information: Implications for Rational Attention


Jeffrey L. Hoopes


Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Accounting & Management Information Systems

Daniel H. Reck


University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics

Joel B. Slemrod


University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

September 17, 2013

Ross School of Business Paper No. 1198

Abstract:     
We examine novel data on searches for capital-gains-tax-related information to determine when and how taxpayers acquire information. We find strong seasonal increases in information search around tax filing deadlines, suggesting that taxpayers seek information to comply with tax law. Positive correlations between stock market activity and information search and year-end spikes in information search on capital losses suggest that taxpayers seek information for tax planning purposes. Policy changes and news events cause noteworthy information search. Overall, these data suggest that taxpayers are not always fully informed, but that rational attention and exogenous shocks to tax salience drive taxpayer information search.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 48

Keywords: Information search, rational attention, capital gains taxation, tax complexity

JEL Classification: D80, D83, H31, H24

working papers series





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Date posted: September 1, 2013 ; Last revised: September 23, 2013

Suggested Citation

Hoopes, Jeffrey L. and Reck, Daniel H. and Slemrod, Joel B., Taxpayer Search for Information: Implications for Rational Attention (September 17, 2013). Ross School of Business Paper No. 1198. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2318581 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2318581

Contact Information

Jeffrey L. Hoopes
Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Accounting & Management Information Systems ( email )
2100 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States
Daniel H. Reck
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics ( email )
611 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220
United States
Joel B. Slemrod (Contact Author)
University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )
701 Tappan Street
Room A2120
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1234
United States
734-936-3914 (Phone)
734-763-4032 (Fax)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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