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Enforcing Tax Compliance: To Punish or Persuade?

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  • Murphy, Kristina

    ()
    (Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University, Melbourne (Australia))

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    Abstract

    A long standing debate has existed between those who believe deterrence-based enforcement strategies work for gaining compliance from offenders and those who believe gentle persuasion and cooperation is more effective. This article is concerned with the issue of how to best deal with offenders so as to increase support for the law and lower the rate of subsequent re-offending. Using survey data from 652 taxpayers who have been through an enforcement experience with the Australian Taxation Office, the present study will show that depending on how an enforcement experience is perceived by offenders (as either stigmatic or reintegrative in nature) can influence the feelings of resentment they experience, but more importantly these feelings of resentment mediate the effect of punishment on subsequent compliance behaviour. In other words, it is these feelings of resentment in response to disapproval that go on to predict who will and will not comply with their subsequent obligations under the law.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Economics and Finance in its journal Economic Analysis and Policy (EAP).

    Volume (Year): 38 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 113-135

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    Handle: RePEc:eap:articl:v:38:y:2008:i:1:p:113-135

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    Related research

    Keywords: tax compliance; punishment; emotions; reintegrative shaming theory; K Law and Economics;

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    References

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    1. repec:att:wimass:9610 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Frey, Bruno S, 1997. "A Constitution for Knaves Crowds Out Civic Virtues," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1043-53, July.
    3. Kristina Murphy, 2007. "Procedural Justice and the Regulation of Tax Compliance Behaviour: The Moderating Role of Personal Norms," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0731, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    4. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2002. "Trust breeds trust: How taxpayers are treated," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 87-99, 07.
    5. Ernst Fehr & Bettina Rockenbach, 2003. "Detrimental effects of sanctions on human altruism," Microeconomics 0305007, EconWPA.
    6. Andreoni, J. & Erard, B. & Feinstein, J., 1996. "Tax Compliance," Working papers 9610r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    7. Alm, James & McClelland, Gary H. & Schulze, William D., 1992. "Why do people pay taxes?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 21-38, June.
    8. Alm, James & Jackson, Betty R. & McKee, Michael, 1993. "Fiscal exchange, collective decision institutions, and tax compliance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 285-303, December.
    9. Dubin, Jeffrey A. & Wilde, Louis L., 1988. "An Empirical Analysis of Federal Income Tax Auditing and Compliance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 41(1), pages 61-74, March.
    10. Alm, James & Sanchez, Isabel & de Juan, Ana, 1995. "Economic and Noneconomic Factors in Tax Compliance," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 3-18.
    11. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
    12. Marsha Blumenthal & Charles Christian & Joel Slemrod, 1998. "The Determinants of Income Tax Compliance: Evidence from a Controlled Experiment in Minnesota," NBER Working Papers 6575, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:
    1. Boll, Karen, 2014. "Shady car dealings and taxing work practices: An ethnography of a tax audit process," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-19.
    2. Pickhardt, Michael & Prinz, Aloys, 2014. "Behavioral dynamics of tax evasion – A survey," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-19.
    3. Marcelo Arbex & Enlinson Mattos, 2013. "Optimal Sales Tax Rebates and Tax Enforcement Consumers," Working Papers 1302, University of Windsor, Department of Economics.

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