Ghosting the Tax Authority: Fake Firms and Tax Fraud

22AGO18:3019:00Ghosting the Tax Authority: Fake Firms and Tax Fraud


Paul Carrillo
PhD University of Virginia

Abstract: An important but poorly understood form of firm tax evasion arises from “ghost firms”—fake firms that issue fraudulent receipts so that their clients can claim false deductions. We provide a unique window into this global phenomenon using transactionlevel tax data from Ecuador. 5% of firms use ghost invoices annually and, among these firms, ghost transactions comprise 14% of purchases. Ghost transactions are particularly prevalent among large firms and firms with high-income owners, and exhibit suspicious patterns, such as bunching below financial system thresholds. An innovative enforcement intervention targeting ghost clients rather than ghosts themselves led to substantial tax recovery.

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22 de AGOSTO de 2023 18:30 - 19:00(GMT-05:00)


UdlaPark UPE 705

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