Professor Ventry Comments on Income Tax Compliance for Sacramento Bee
Professor Dennis J. Ventry, Jr. commented on issues related to income tax compliance for an article in the Sacramento Bee examining underpayment of taxes and the state budget deficit. The article notes that when individuals are required to self-report income, compliance dips below 70 percent, according to a report by the state Legislative Analyst's Office.
"If you ask me what keeps people in compliance, it is the withholding regime and the reporting regime," Ventry said. Ventry was referring to the requirement, on the one hand, that employers withhold federal and state taxes from their employees' paychecks (resulting in compliance rates of 99 percent) and, on the other hand, third-party reporting for contract employees and Form 1099 income (which produces compliance rates around 95 percent). Ventry was saying that even if taxpayers wanted to cheat on their taxes, it would be nearly impossible, because most of them are wage and salary employees, and their employers are obligated to collect taxes on the government's behalf or at least alert the government to income paid as compensation for services rendered.
Professor Ventry is an expert in tax policy and has written widely in the field. His research interests include family taxation, tax expenditure analysis, legal ethics and professional standards, tax and legal history, tax compliance and administration, and public finance.
Sacramento Bee article