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Building Trust In Italian Tax Authority. An Ethnographic Approach


  • Pierluigi De Rosa

    (Agenzia delle Entrate, Direzione Regionale Emilia-Romagna)


How should the tax authority promote trust in its relationship with the taxpayer, in light of social interactions characterized by growing areas of uncertainty? In what way should the tax administration react to the generalized mistrust that invested the entire institutional apparatus? This paper aims to answer to these questions through an ethnographic survey, showing the strategies and measures implemented by Italian Revenue Agency to strengthen the taxpayer’s trust. A special attention is paid to the application of the procedural fairness and trust principles to the auditing activities, by means of interviews to tax auditors and observation of meetings between tax officials and taxpayers. As we’ll see, a relationship of trust between Revenue Agency and taxpayer can be nurtured through innovative organizational practices. Some factors seem to be crucial for the spread of a trustworthy approach, i.e. learning on the job, dynamics of conveying patterns of behaviour, auditors’ attitudinal profiles.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierluigi De Rosa, 2014. "Building Trust In Italian Tax Authority. An Ethnographic Approach," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 122(1), pages 103-130.
  • Handle: RePEc:vep:journl:y:2014:v:122:i:1:p:103-130

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    More about this item


    Trust; Tax compliance; Tax administration; Procedural fairness; Ethnography;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General


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