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Compliance costs caused by agency action? Empirical evidence and implications for tax compliance

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  • Sebastian Eichfelder

    ()
    (University of Wuppertal - Schumpeter School of Business and Economics)

  • Chantal Kegels
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    Abstract

    The compliance costs of private taxpayers are not only affected by the tax law itself but also by its implementation through the tax authorities. In this paper we analyze the effect of the tax authorities on the burden of complying with tax regulations. Using survey data of Belgian businesses and controlling for potential endogeneity, we find empirical evidence that tax authority behavior is an important cost driver. According to our estimate, a customer-unfriendly tax administration increases the average compliance costs by about 25 %. Our outcome has interesting implications for tax compliance research. First of all, taxpayer services do not only affect “soft” factors like fairness and trust, but also “hard” aspects like costs. Furthermore, there may be an inherent ability of the administration to “punish” non-cooperative businesses by in-creased cost-burdens.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library in its series Schumpeter Discussion Papers with number sdp12005.

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    Length: 29
    Date of creation: Apr 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:bwu:schdps:sdp12005

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    Web page: http://elpub.bib.uni-wuppertal.de

    Related research

    Keywords: Tax compliance costs; Red tape; Tax administration; Tax compliance; Tax evasion; Tax authority behavior;

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    1. Cullis, John G. & Lewis, Alan, 1997. "Why people pay taxes: From a conventional economic model to a model of social convention," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 18(2-3), pages 305-321, April.
    2. Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider, 2007. "The Impact of Tax Morale and Institutional Quality on the Shadow Economy," CREMA Working Paper Series 2007-01, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    3. Blumenthal, Marsha & Christian, Charles W. & Slemrod, Joel, 2001. "Do Normative Appeals Affect Tax Compliance? Evidence from a Controlled Experiment in Minnesota," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 1), pages 125-38, March.
    4. Eichfelder, Sebastian & Schorn, Michael, 2009. "Tax compliance costs: a business administration perspective," Discussion Papers 2009/3, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    5. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2001. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262232197, December.
    6. Gerlinde Fellner & Rupert Sausgruber & Christian Traxler, 2009. "Testing Enforcement Strategies in the Field: Legal Threat, Moral Appeal and Social Information," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2009_31, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    7. Stephan Muehlbacher & Erich Kirchler, 2010. "Tax Compliance by Trust and Power of Authorities," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(4), pages 607-610.
    8. Alm, James & Jackson, Betty & McKee, Michael, 1992. "Institutional Uncertainty and Taxpayer Compliance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 1018-26, September.
    9. Andreoni, J. & Erard, B. & Feinstein, J., 1996. "Tax Compliance," Working papers 9610r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    10. Tran-Nam, Binh & Evans, Chris & Walpole, Michael & Ritchie, Katherine, 2000. "Tax Compliance Costs: Research Methodology and Empirical Evidence from Australia," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 2), pages 229-52, June.
    11. James Alm & Todd Cherry & Michael Jones & Michael McKee, 2011. "Taxpayer Information Assistance Services and Tax Compliance Behavior," Working Papers 1101, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    12. Slemrod, Joel & Blumenthal, Marsha & Christian, Charles, 2001. "Taxpayer response to an increased probability of audit: evidence from a controlled experiment in Minnesota," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 455-483, March.
    13. Hokamp, Sascha & Pickhardt, Michael, 2010. "Income tax evasion in a society of heterogeneous agents: Evidence from an agent-based model," CAWM Discussion Papers 35, Center of Applied Economic Research Münster (CAWM), University of Münster.
    14. Kirchler, Erich & Hoelzl, Erik & Wahl, Ingrid, 2008. "Enforced versus voluntary tax compliance: The "slippery slope" framework," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 210-225, April.
    15. Sandmo, Agnar, 2005. "The Theory of Tax Evasion: A Retrospective View," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 58(4), pages 643-63, December.
    16. 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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    1. Research tribune
      by UDADISI in UDADISI on 2012-04-25 10:45:00

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