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Attitudes Towards Paying Taxes in Austria: An Empirical Analysis

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  • Benno Torgler

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  • Friedrich Schneider

Abstract

People mostly pay their taxes although there is a low probability of getting caught and being penalized. Thus, new attempts in the tax compliance literature try to go beyond standard economic theory. This paper examines citizens? attitudes toward paying taxes ? what is sometimes termed their ?tax morale?, or the intrinsic motivation to pay taxes. Tax morale may be a key determinant to explain why people are honest. However, there are very few papers that explore the concept of tax morale theoretically and empirically. This study, based on the World Values Survey and the European Values Survey, therefore attempts to fill this gap in the literature, focusing on tax morale in Austria. Societal institutions such as trust or pride have been identified as key determinants that shape tax morale in Austria. Furthermore, a lower perceived compliance leads to a decrease of tax morale, which indicates that social comparisons are relevant. The results also show a decrease of tax morale between 1990 and 1999, although Austria?s taxpayers still have a very high tax morale compared to other European countries.
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Suggested Citation

  • Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider, 2005. "Attitudes Towards Paying Taxes in Austria: An Empirical Analysis," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 231-250, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:empiri:v:32:y:2005:i:2:p:231-250
    DOI: 10.1007/s10663-004-8328-y
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Lars P. Feld & Friedrich Schneider, 2011. "Survey on the Shadow Economy and Undeclared Work in OECD Countries," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Shadow Economy, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. 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.
    3. Boockmann, Bernhard & Rincke, Johannes, 2005. "Wirksamkeit der Bekämpfung der Schwarzarbeit durch die "Finanzkontrolle Schwarzarbeit": Empirische Untersuchung der Entwicklung der Schwarzarbeit und des hierauf bezogenen Bewusstseins- und ," ZEW Expertises, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research, number 111459.
    4. Schneider, Friedrich, 2006. "Shadow Economies and Corruption All Over the World: What Do We Really Know?," IZA Discussion Papers 2315, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Lars P. Feld & Friedrich Schneider, 2010. "Survey on the Shadow Economy and Undeclared Earnings in OECD Countries," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11, pages 109-149, May.
    6. Jorge Martinz-Vazquez & Benno Torgler, 2005. "The Evolution of Tax Morale in Modern Spain," CREMA Working Paper Series 2005-33, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    7. Schneider, Friedrich G. & Buehn, Andreas, 2007. "Shadow economies and corruption all over the world: revised estimates for 120 countries," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 1, pages 1-53.
    8. Kay Blaufus & Jonathan Bob & Jochen Hundsdoerfer & Christian Sielaff & Dirk Kiesewetter & Joachim Weimann, 2015. "Perception of income tax rates: evidence from Germany," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 457-478, December.
    9. Christoph Kogler & Stephan Muehlbacher & Erich Kirchler, 2015. "Testing the “slippery slope framework” among self-employed taxpayers," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 125-142, May.
    10. Jaanika Merikull & Tairi Room & 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.
    11. Mohd Amran Mahat & Lai Ming Ling, 2011. "Featuring Tax Education in Non-accounting Curriculum: Survey Evidence," EconStor Conference Papers 56066, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    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 1-18, January.
    13. Hammar, Henrik & Jagers, Sverker C. & Nordblom, Katarina, 2009. "Perceived tax evasion and the importance of trust," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 238-245, March.
    14. Traxler, Christian, 2010. "Social norms and conditional cooperative taxpayers," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 89-103, March.
    15. Friedrich Schneider, 2005. "Shadow Economies of 145 Countries all over the World: What Do We Really Know?," CREMA Working Paper Series 2005-13, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    16. Ross Adriana M. & McGee Robert W., 2011. "Attitudes toward Tax Evasion: A Demographic Study of Malaysia," Asian Journal of Law and Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(3), pages 1-51, October.
    17. Friedrich Schneider, 2007. "Size and Development of the Shadow Economy in Germany and Austria: Some preliminary findings," CREMA Working Paper Series 2007-15, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    18. Vesa Kanniainen & Jenni Pääkkönen, 2010. "Do the catholic and protestant countries differ by their tax morale?," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 271-290, July.
    19. Hrvoje Simovic & Helena Blazic & Ana Stambuk, 2014. "Perspectives of tax reforms in Croatia: expert opinion survey," Financial Theory and Practice, Institute of Public Finance, vol. 38(4), pages 405-439.
    20. Friedrich Schneider, 2009. "Size and Development of the Shadow Economy in Germany, Austria and Other oecd-Countries. Some Preliminary Findings," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 60(5), pages 1079-1116.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax morale; social norms; Austria; H260; H730; D640;

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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