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The Taxman Cometh: Why do so many people obediently pay their taxes?

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Abstract:

Audits, punishments, and the other deterrence variables mentioned above still do not fully explain why there is so little tax evasion. Could it be that most people believe they have a duty, moral or otherwise, to report their taxable income honestly, more or less.

This essay appeared in the Becker-Posner Blog on November 25, 2007.