Trust in authorities as a boundary condition to procedural fairness effects on tax compliance
We explored the moderating role of trust in authorities in the positive effect of procedural fairness of the tax office on voluntary compliance with tax authorities. Building on fairness heuristic theory, we predicted that particularly low trust in authorities makes people carefully attend to the fairness with which the tax office enacts procedures. This should result in positive procedural fairness effects on endorsement of norms prescribing taxpaying and, consequently, in voluntary tax compliance, particularly among citizens with low trust in authorities. Results from an experiment and a field study revealed converging support for these predictions. We conclude that high trust in authorities forms an important boundary condition to the effectiveness of procedural fairness as a tool to enhance tax compliance.
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