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Tax Morale in Australia: What Shapes it and Has it Changed over Time?

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  • Benno Torgler
  • Kristina Murphy
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    Abstract

    Why citizens pay their taxes voluntarily is an important question for tax administrations worldwide. Some believe it is because taxpayers are deterred from tax evasion out of a fear of being caught or penalised. Others, in contrast, suggest that factors such as the level of tax morale one has (i.e., the intrinsic motivation one has to pay their tax) affects compliance behaviour. While there have been numerous empirical studies published that have explored the role of deterrence on tax compliance behaviour, very few studies have explored the concept of tax morale in any detail. This study therefore attempts to rectify this gap in the literature. If tax morale is important in determining compliance behaviour, as several researchers have suggested, then it is also important to understand what might affect one?s level of tax morale. The specific aim of this paper will be to identify factors that shape or have an impact on tax morale. Using data collected from the Australian wave of the 1981 and 1995 World Values Survey, this study will demonstrate that factors such as trust and moral beliefs play an important role in shaping tax morale in Australia. Further, it will be shown that tax morale has increased significantly in Australia since the early 1980s, and that it has done so at a faster rate than many other OECD countries. Possible explanations for this increase will be discussed.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA) in its series CREMA Working Paper Series with number 2004-04.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2004-04

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    Related research

    Keywords: Tax Morale; Tax Compliance; Tax Evasion; Australia;

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    Cited by:
    1. Torgler, Benno, 2011. "Tax morale and compliance : review of evidence and case studies for Europe," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5922, The World Bank.
    2. 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.
    3. Nichita Ramona-Anca & Batrancea Larissa-Margareta, 2012. "The Implications Of Tax Morale On Tax Compliance Behavior," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(1), pages 739-744, July.
    4. Liliana Bunescu & Carmen Comaniciu, 2011. "Romanian Taxpayers’ Inclination To Tax Cheating," Studies in Business and Economics, Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Faculty of Economic Sciences, vol. 6(1), pages 19-29, April.
    5. 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.

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