DP17097 Electronic Payment Technology and Tax Compliance: Evidence from Uruguay's Financial Inclusion Reform
Does the digitization of transactions in an economy increase tax compliance? We study the effect of financial incentives on the adoption of electronic payment technology and on tax compliance by firms. Exploiting administrative data and policy variation from Uruguay, we show that i) consumer VAT rebates for credit and debit card transactions trigger an immediate 50% increase in the number of card transactions, ii) firms' use of card machines increases only on the intensive margin, and iii) tax compliance is unaffected. Endogenous card machine adoption and a low share of card sales in total reported sales can rationalize the findings.