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Perceived tax evasion and the importance of trust

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  • Hammar, Henrik
  • Jagers, Sverker C.
  • Nordblom, Katarina

Abstract

Using Swedish individual survey data, we analyze the perception of tax evasion in terms of ten different taxes. We find large variation across taxes, highlighting the importance of studying different taxes separately rather than treating tax evasion as one common phenomenon. We focus on the importance of trust in taxpayers and in politicians. Those who do not trust their fellow citizens are more likely to believe that they are evading taxes, but distrust in politicians has an even greater effect, especially for redistributive and fiscally motivated taxes. Hence, it is important for politicians to be perceived as trustworthy in order to be able to collect taxes for maintaining the welfare state.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 38 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 238-245

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:38:y:2009:i:2:p:238-245

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

Related research

Keywords: Trust in politicians Generalized trust Social capital General welfare state Tax policy Tax compliance;

References

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  1. Sandmo, Agnar, 2005. "The Theory of Tax Evasion: A Retrospective View," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 58(4), pages 643-63, December.
  2. James Andreoni & Brian Erard & Jonathan Feinstein, 1998. "Tax Compliance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 818-860, June.
  3. Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider, 2004. "Attitudes Towards Paying Taxes in Austria: An Empirical Analysis," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-27, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  4. Frey, Bruno S. & Torgler, Benno, 2007. "Tax morale and conditional cooperation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 136-159, March.
  5. Clotfelter, Charles T, 1983. "Tax Evasion and Tax Rates: An Analysis of Individual Returns," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(3), pages 363-73, August.
  6. Gordon, James P. P., 1989. "Individual morality and reputation costs as deterrents to tax evasion," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 797-805, April.
  7. Benno Torgler, 2004. "Tax Morale in Asian Countries," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-02, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  8. Benno Torgler, 2003. "Tax Morale, Rule-Governed Behaviour and Trust," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 119-140, June.
  9. Hammar, Henrik & Jagers, Sverker C. & Nordblom, Katarina, 2006. "What explains attitudes towards tax levels? A multi-tax comparison," Working Papers in Economics 225, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  10. Marie-Claire Villeval & Bernard Fortin & Guy Lacroix, 2005. "Tax Evasion and Social Interactions," Working Papers 0410, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  11. Adams, Caroline & Webley, Paul, 2001. "Small business owners' attitudes on VAT compliance in the UK," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 195-216, April.
  12. Torgler, Benno, 2003. "To evade taxes or not to evade: that is the question," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 283-302, July.
  13. Bordignon, Massimo, 1993. "A fairness approach to income tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 345-362, October.
  14. Bergman, Marcelo & Nevarez, Armando, 2006. "Do Audits Enhance Compliance? An Empirical Assessment of VAT Enforcement," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 59(4), pages 817-32, December.
  15. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Cãtãlina Cozmei, 2012. "Playing The Fiscal Lottery Game," Proceedings of the INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE, Faculty of Management, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 6(1), pages 511-521, November.
  2. Gaetano Lisi, 2012. "Macroeconomic implications of the dynamics between power and trust: a theoretical formalisation of the ‘slippery slope’ framework," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2012_21, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  3. Traxler, Christian, 2010. "Social norms and conditional cooperative taxpayers," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 89-103, March.
  4. Yamamura, Eiji, 2012. "Trust in government and its effect on preferences for income redistribution and perceived tax burden," MPRA Paper 39833, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Cullis, John & Jones, Philip & Soliman, Amal, 2012. "‘Spite effects’ in tax evasion experiments," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 418-423.
  6. Jaanika Meriküll & Tairi Rõõm & Karsten Staehr, 2013. "Perceptions of unreported economic activities in Baltic Firms. Individualistic and non-individualistic motives," Bank of Estonia Working Papers wp2012-8, Bank of Estonia, revised 04 Feb 2013.
  7. Sørensen, Jens Fyhn Lykke, 2011. "Undeclared work: A dark side of social trust?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 888-894.
  8. Kogler, Christoph & Batrancea, Larissa & Nichita, Anca & Pantya, Jozsef & Belianin, Alexis & Kirchler, Erich, 2013. "Trust and power as determinants of tax compliance: Testing the assumptions of the slippery slope framework in Austria, Hungary, Romania and Russia," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 169-180.
  9. Yamamura, Eiji, 2012. "Norm for redistribution, social capital, and perceived tax burden: comparison between high- and low-income households," MPRA Paper 39434, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2010. "Tax Morale, Tax Evasion, and the Shadow Economy," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2010 2010-17, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  11. Gloria Alarcón García & Edgardo Ayala Gaytán, 2013. "Trust in Spanish Governments: Antecedents and Consequences," Economic Analysis and Policy (EAP), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Economics and Finance, vol. 43(2), pages 177-194, September.
  12. Niklas Harring & Sverker C. Jagers, 2013. "Should We Trust in Values? Explaining Public Support for Pro-Environmental Taxes," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(1), pages 210-227, January.
  13. Çule, Monika & Fulton, Murray, 2009. "Business culture and tax evasion: Why corruption and the unofficial economy can persist," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 811-822, December.

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