The Elasticity of Taxable Income in Slovakia
Last update: 02.08.2021 08:56
This paper uses administrative panel data on employment income from years 2004-2018 to investigate the elasticity of taxable income (ETI) in Slovakia. I also exploit Slovakia’s heavy reliance on employer social security contributions and different reforms of the income tax and contributions rates to elaborate on the standard results. First, I find consistently inelastic responses of the gross taxable income with the central estimate of about 0.07. On the other hand, the aggregate employer labour costs have negative elasticity with respect to the net-of-tax rate in almost all models. This demonstrates that legal incidence largely determines economic incidence of payroll taxes at least in the short run. Second, I show that the size of the ETI is determined by the salience of the tax reforms. Namely hikes in the employer contributions are found to induce significantly weaker responses relative to the changes in the income tax rate. Finally, I investigate the degree of income shifting between employment and self-employment income using shorter time-series of tax returns data and conclude that the usual ETI methods cannot accurately capture complete shifting of income occurring in Slovakia in the observed period.