The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper discusses assessment of income on the basis of approximate indicators as opposed to conventional records. Such a method of assessment, known as presumptive income taxation, is widely used in many developing and industrial countries; however, it has been neglected in public finance literature. In most cases the presumptive approach has been followed for administrative reasons, but this paper argues that more attention should be paid to the efficiency implications of presumptive taxes.