The role of occupational taxpaying cultures in taxpaying behaviour and attitudes
Many individuals embark on their careers as tax novices and become acculturated into their occupational sector's taxpaying culture (i.e. its norms and values) over time. This paper uses a social identity framework to investigate whether perceptions of occupational taxpaying culture and related variables influence not only self-reported tax compliance, and tax minimization, but also how taxpayers position themselves in relation to the tax office. A questionnaire study (N=511) with an Australian sample measured the way in which participants perceived their occupational taxpaying culture. Linear and logistic hierarchal regression analyses revealed that occupational taxpaying culture is important in explaining stances towards the tax office and tax minimization, even when more "traditional" economic tax variables (e.g., deterrence) are included. However, a more refined measure of culture is needed to determine the role that taxpaying culture plays in tax compliance. The analyses also indicate that the relationship between occupational identity and taxpaying culture is complex. Overall, we build a case for an integrated approach that marries traditional variables with social and cultural ones.
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