Risk-Based Audits in a Behavioral Model
Myles, Gareth D.
Public Finance Review
The tools of predictive analytics are widely used in the analysis of large data sets to predict future patterns in the system. In particular, predictive analytics is used to estimate risk of engaging in certain behaviour. Risk-based audits are used by revenue services to target potentially non-compliant taxpayers, but the results of predictive analytics serve predominantly only as a guide rather than a rule. “Auditor judgment” retains an important role in selecting audit targets. The paper assesses the effectiveness of using predictive analytics in a model of the compliance decision that incorporates several components from behavioral economics: subjective beliefs about audit probabilities, a social custom reward from honest tax payment, and a degree of risk aversion that increases with age. Simulation analysis shows that predictive analytics is successful in raising compliance and that the resulting pattern of audits is very close to being a cut-off rule.
Copyright © 2015 by SAGE Publications
Published online 1 September 2015