Monetary incentives to improve tax compliance: A Brazilian case study

Jorge Luis Tonetto, Adelar Fochezatto, Josep Miquel Pique

Producció científica: Article en revista indexadaArticleAvaluat per experts


Motivation: To enhance tax education and increase citizen participation in combatting tax evasion, monetary incentives may be used. In December (2021), the state government of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil launched the Receita Certa project. It aims to encourage new taxpayer habits, by refunding part of the tax collected by retailers on consumption back to citizens, contingent on its performance exceeding inflation rates. Taxpayers add their tax identification to receipts and request redemption every three months. Purpose: We analyse the impact of the Receita Certa project on the behaviour of consumers as taxpayers. Methods: We evaluate the impacts of Receita Certa using difference-in-differences. The response variables are the monthly number and value of electronic receipts issued to beneficiaries. The treatment group consists of citizens eligible for the refund in its introduction month, while the remainder constitute the control group. The database includes receipts issued to 3.4 million taxpayers who added their tax identification to the receipt — spanning 11 months before and 18 months after the initiative, began resulting in 46.7 million records. Findings: The Receita Certa proved ineffective, as it led to fewer tax documents issued. Distributing resources widely to many users does not seem the best solution, both in cost and results. Distribution goes first and foremost to people on higher incomes since they got larger prizes: the smaller prizes of people on lower incomes were often not claimed. The programme made tax more regressive. The programme was also costly. Policy implications: States that have a large tax gap need to improve their control systems. Initiatives like the Receita Certa that return resources widely to taxpayers to reduce tax evasion are widespread. Given the results shown, Receita Certa needs rethinking.

Idioma originalAnglès
RevistaDevelopment Policy Review
Estat de la publicacióAcceptada/en premsa - 2024


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