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Busta, B and Sundheim, R (1992)

Tax return numbers tend to obey Benford's law

Center for Business Research Working Paper No. W93-106-94, St. Cloud State University, Minnesota.

ISSN/ISBN: Not available at this time. DOI: Not available at this time.

Abstract: SUMMARY: Benford's Law predicts that the digits of naturally occurring numbers will follow a prescribed distribution. In previous research it has been found that street addresses, death rates, areas of rivers, population of cities, accounting measures of net income, dollar amounts on utilities bills, Fibonacci and Lucas numbers follow a Benford distribution. This study examines tax return data from the 1982 and 1983 panel databases. It is discovered that these databases also tends to obey Benford's Law. The first digit of the tax return data closely follows a Benford distribution. While the second and third digits are reasonably close, there is an overrepresentation of zeros and fives in the second and third digit positions

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Reference Type: E-Print

Subject Area(s): Accounting