Fast Money? the Contribution of State Tax Amnesties to Public Revenue Systems
John L. Mikesell, and Justin M. Ross
65 National Tax Journal 529-62 (September 2012)
State tax amnesties have become a commonplace component of state tax administration over the last 30 years. This paper reviews the structural evolution of all state amnesty programs and makes the case that their fundamental purpose has shifted from improving tax administration to emphasizing revenue maximization. It then provides empirical evidence on which state amnesty program features aid in this effort. The regression results reveal that most of the malleable amnesty program features that tend to increase amnesty recoveries also conflict with or undermine the goal of improving the tax administration system.