NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Ankur Patel

Department of the Treasury

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2018Tax Enforcement and Tax Policy: Evidence on Taxpayer Responses to EITC Correspondence Audits
with John Guyton, Kara Leibel, Dayanand S. Manoli, Mark Payne, Brenda Schafer: w24465
Each year, the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sends notices to selected taxpayers who claim Earned Income Tax credit (EITC) benefits to request additional documentation to verify those claims. This paper uses administrative tax data to examine the impacts of these correspondence audits on taxpayer behavior. The quasi-experimental research design compares randomly-selected audited taxpayers to taxpayers with similar risk scores who were not selected for a correspondence audit. The results indicate that, in the years following an audit, there are decreases in the likelihoods of claiming EITC benefits and filing returns. Taxpayers with self-employment income at the time of audit appear likely to increase wage employment following a correspondence audit, while taxpayers with wage...
Long-Term Effects of Job-Search Assistance: Experimental Evidence Using Administrative Tax Data
with Dayanand S. Manoli, Marios Michaelides: w24422
This paper uses administrative tax data to examine the long-term effects of an experimental job-search assistance program operating in Nevada in 2009. The program required randomly-selected unemployed workers who had just started collecting unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to undergo an eligibility review and receive personalized job-counseling services. The program led to substantial short-term reductions in UI receipt, and to persistent, long-term increases in employment and earnings. The program also affected participants’ family outcomes, including total income, tax filing, tax liability, and home ownership. These findings show that job-search assistance programs may produce substantial long-term effects for participants and their families.
July 2015Effective Policy for Reducing Inequality? The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Distribution of Income
with Hilary W. Hoynes: w21340
In this paper, we examine the effect of the EITC on the employment and income of single mothers with children. We provide the first comprehensive estimates of this central safety net policy on the full distribution of after-tax and transfer income. We use a quasi-experiment approach, using variation in generosity due to policy expansions across tax years and family sizes. Our results show that a policy-induced $1000 increase in the EITC leads to a 7.3 percentage point increase in employment and a 9.4 percentage point reduction in the share of families with after-tax and transfer income below 100% poverty. Event study estimates show no evidence of differential pre-trends, providing strong evidence in support of our research design. We find that the income increasing effects of the EITC are ...
 
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