Voluntary Disclosure Schemes for Offshore Tax Evasion: An Analysis
33 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2016
Date Written: February 11, 2016
In recent years tax authorities worldwide have implemented voluntary disclosure schemes to recover tax on offshore investments. Such Schemes are characterized by the acquisition of non-audit information on offshore holdings, and a subsequent opportunity for affected taxpayers to make a voluntary disclosure. Accepted disclosures are subject to a discounted .ne rate, but verified under-disclosure attracts a higher penalty. We characterize the optimal Scheme and show that an optimal Scheme can generate a Pareto-improvement over the optimal auditing equilibrium without a Scheme, and can stimulate legitimate offshore investment activity. We show when a tax authority optimally gives incentives for truthful disclosure, and when it does not. The analysis yields practical design insights for policymakers.
Keywords: voluntary disclosure, offshore tax evasion, tax amnesty, third-party information
JEL Classification: H260, D850
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation