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Is Forgiveness Divine? A Cross-Culture Comparison of Tax Amnesties

Author

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  • Benno Torgler
  • Christoph A. Schaltegger
  • Markus Schaffner

Abstract

Tax compliance literature lacks empirical evidence regarding the effects of a tax amnesty on tax compliance. To measure the long run effects of an amnesty on compliance, experiments in Switzerland and Costa Rica were conducted. The results suggest that tax compliance raises significantly when people get the opportunity to vote for or against a tax amnesty, independently from whether a tax amnesty is rejected or not. The strongest effect can be achieved when voting is coupled with pre-voting discussion. Furthermore, the anticipation of further tax amnesties reduces positive effects on tax compliance. All these findings are robust across the different cultures. Interestingly, our results indicate that tax compliance is significantly higher in Costa Rica than to Switzerland.

Suggested Citation

  • Benno Torgler & Christoph A. Schaltegger & Markus Schaffner, 2003. "Is Forgiveness Divine? A Cross-Culture Comparison of Tax Amnesties," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 139(III), pages 375-396, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2003-iii-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Torgler, Benno & Schneider, Friedrich & Schaltegger, Christoph A., 2007. "With or Against the People? The Impact of a Bottom-Up Approach on Tax Morale and the Shadow Economy," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt6331x6vz, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    2. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2006. "Tax Evasion in Switzerland: The Roles of Deterrence and Tax Morale," IEW - Working Papers 284, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    3. Benno Torgler & Markus Schaffner & Alison Macintyre, 2007. "Tax Compliance, Tax Morale, and Governance Quality," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0727, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    4. Larissa Batrancea & Ioan Chirila & Ramona-Anca Nichita, 2014. "Fathoming Tax Havens Climate Through A Consequentialist Versus A Deontological Moral Lens," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 2, pages 61-70, April.
    5. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2004. "Illegal, Immoral, Fattening or What?: How Deterrence and Responsive Regulation Shape Tax Morale," Marburg Working Papers on Economics 200426, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    6. Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider & Christoph Schaltegger, 2010. "Local autonomy, tax morale, and the shadow economy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 293-321, July.
    7. Frey, Bruno S. & Torgler, Benno, 2007. "Tax morale and conditional cooperation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 136-159, March.
    8. repec:gam:jlawss:v:6:y:2017:i:4:p:16-:d:113523 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Bruno S. Frey & Benno Torgler, 2004. "Taxation and Conditional Taxation," Working Papers 2004/7, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    10. Hari Luitel & Mehmet Tosun, 2014. "A reexamination of state fiscal health and amnesty enactment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(5), pages 874-893, October.
    11. Benno Torgler, 2003. "Beyond Punishment: a tax compliance experiment with taxpayers in Costa Rica," Revista de Analisis Economico – Economic Analysis Review, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines, vol. 18(1), pages 27-56, June.
    12. Benno Torgler, 2003. "Tax Morale and Institutions," CREMA Working Paper Series 2003-09, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    13. Bruno S. Frey & Benno Torgler, 2004. "Taxation and Conditional Cooperation," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-20, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    14. Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider, 2004. "Does Culture Influence Tax Morale? Evidence from Different European Countries," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-17, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    15. Benno Torgler, 2004. "Moral Suasion: An alternative tax policy strategy? Evidence from a controlled field experiment in Switzerland," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-01, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    16. Hari Luitel & Mehmet Serkan Tosun, 2010. "An Examination of the Relation between State Fiscal Health and Amnesty Enactment," Working Papers 10-009, University of Nevada, Reno, Department of Economics;University of Nevada, Reno , Department of Resource Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    tax amnesty; tax compliance; voting behaviour; experiments; culture;

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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