Missing Miles: Evasion Responses to Car Taxes

Working Papers 318 Tuomas Kosonen, Jarkko Harju, Joel Slemrod

We study a tax evasion response to car taxes in Finland, where used car importers overstate the mileage to reduce tax liability. First, we develop a tax evasion measure by comparing reported mileage upon import with subsequent information from vehicle inspections, and find that a decline in mileage — ”missing miles” occurs frequently. Second, we analyze a tax rate increase, and observe a reduction in the number of imported used cars, but only among non-evaders. Finally, we analyze an RCT varying the salience of tax enforcement measures, which suggests that providing information about new measures reduces missing miles.

Keywords: car tax, tax evasion, enforcement measures JEL-codes: [H21, H23, H26, C93]

Julkaistu: 1.12.2017
ISBN: 978-952-209-170-3 (pdf)
ISSN: 1795-1801 (pdf)
JEL: H21, H23, H26, C93