An Analysis of the Effect of Electronic Filing on Individual Income Tax Compliance
Noncompliance has a negative influence on both tax equity and tax efficiency. In analyzing tax compliance, it is important to study not only measures such as audits and penalties which address noncompliance directly, but also measures that are not primarily intended to improve compliance. This paper examines the effects of electronic filing, using paid tax return preparation and self-preparation, on individual income tax compliance, using panel data over six years aggregated at state level. The results suggest that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) should encourage taxpayers who file their tax returns by themselves to use electronic filing. The IRS should be encouraged to further examine the effect of electronic filing on compliance more deeply and extensively by using individual taxpayer level data and more years of data. It would result in more effective policy evaluation, leading to the improvement of compliance.
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