A Pilot Study of Uncertainty in Income Tax Forecasts

Working paper number: 
2018-23
Paper Abstract: 
How confidently can taxpayers forecast the tax bill that they will face? We asked survey respondents to provide both point estimates and subjective probability distributions of items from the tax return that they will submit the following April. In a pilot study, consisting of a sample of 188 participants from Amazon Mechanical Turk, we find evidence of substantial uncertainty over both the final tax and its determinants. We discuss the implications of this uncertainty for both tax policy and economic modeling.