Earlier versions of this article using preliminary and incomplete data were presented at the National Tax Association's 2005 Annual Conference on Taxation and the 2006 IRS Research Conference. This version of the article uses the final data set and is adapted from these working papers: ). The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect those of the Federal Reserve Board or its staff. The authors thank their project manager, Esther Ullman, their production manager, Sara Freeland, Terry Adams, the Survey Research Center, and their Advisory Board. The article has received valuable comments from seminar participants at the University of Michigan, conference participants at the National Tax Association Annual Conference on Taxation, the IRS Research Conference, and an anonymous referee. The authors are grateful to Chester Choi, Maria Dooner, and Robyn Konkel for research assistance. The study received generous support from the Ford Foundation, Fannie Mae Foundation, Mott Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Community Foundation of Southeastern Michigan, as well as from the National Poverty Center, Center on Local, State and Urban Policy, Provost, Vice President for Research, and Law School of the University of Michigan.
Third-Party Tax Administration: The Case of Low- and Moderate-Income Households
Article first published online: 3 DEC 2008
© 2008, Copyright the Authors. Journal compilation © 2008, Cornell Law School and Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Empirical Legal Studies
Volume 5, Issue 4, pages 963–981, December 2008
How to Cite
Barr, M. S. and Dokko, J. K. (2008), Third-Party Tax Administration: The Case of Low- and Moderate-Income Households. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 5: 963–981. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-1461.2008.00147.x
- Issue published online: 3 DEC 2008
- Article first published online: 3 DEC 2008
Using a unique household-level data set, this article investigates the tax-filing experiences and refund behavior of low- and moderate-income (LMI) households. We document households’ tax-filing behavior, attitudes about the withholding system, use of tax refunds to consume and save, and the mechanisms by which households would prefer to receive their income. We also document the prevalence of the use of tax-preparation services and the receipt of tax refunds and refund-anticipation loans. Finally, we argue that there may be a role for tax administration to enable LMI households to make welfare-improving financial decisions.