The deterrent effect of whistleblowing on tax collections

Amir, E, Lazar, A and Levi, S (2018) The deterrent effect of whistleblowing on tax collections. European Accounting Review, 27 (5). pp. 939-954. ISSN 0963-8180


Many countries use tax-related whistleblowing programs, but the evidence on these programs suggests information provided by whistleblowers yields modest tax collections. However, when every citizen could become a whistleblower, deterrence from tax evasion can by itself increase tax collections. We find that tax collections significantly increased after the introduction of the whistleblowing mechanism in Israel in February 2013, although this mechanism directly yielded little or no tax collections. In support of the hypothesis that deterrence led to the increase in tax collections, we find that collections increased in industries with high tax-evasion risk, but not in industries with low tax-evasion risk. Furthermore, the increase in tax collections occurred in corporations, where the timing and magnitude of tax payments are more discretionary, but not from employees, for whom employers directly deduct taxes. Eventually, following reports that the whistleblowing mechanism is ineffective, deterrence diminished and tax collections decreased, suggesting the deterrence effect was temporary.

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Item Type: Article
Subject Areas: Accounting
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© 2018 Informa

Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2019 09:57
Subjects: Tax law
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2024 01:59

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