Why Pay Taxes? A Review of Tax Compliance Decisions
Since the standard model of income tax evasion (Allingham & Sandmo, 1972; Srinivasan, 1973) was published, much research has tested its four parameters (level of actual income, tax rate, audit probability, penalty rate) for empirical validity. Surveys, laboratory experiments and analysis of aggregate data revealed ambiguous evidence for the model’s behavioral implications. The present article reviews these studies and concludes that compliance decisions can only partly be explained by the rational choice approach. We suggest that depending on the climate in a society, compliance stems from two different factors. In a climate of distrust, high power of authorities is needed to enforce tax compliance and increasing fines and audit probabilities may be an effective tax policy. In a climate where taxpayers trust the authorities of their state, however, other variables gain in importance. Knowledge, attitudes, moral appeals, fairness and democracy may lead to voluntary compliance. In this case, draconian fines and intrusive audits can take unintentional effects and would corrupt tax morale.
|Date of creation:||01 Dec 2007|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Phone: 404-413-0235|
Web page: http://aysps.gsu.edu/isp/index.html
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Slemrod, Joel & Blumenthal, Marsha & Christian, Charles, 2001.
"Taxpayer response to an increased probability of audit: evidence from a controlled experiment in Minnesota,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 455-483, March.
- Charles Christian & Joel Slemrod & Marsha Blumenthal, 2001. "Taxpayer response to an increased probability of audit: Evidence from a controlled experiment in minnesota," Natural Field Experiments 00332, The Field Experiments Website.
- Mukhtar Ali & H. Cecil & James Knoblett, 2001. "The effects of tax rates and enforcement policies on taxpayer compliance: A study of self-employed taxpayers," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 29(2), pages 186-202, June.
- Pommerehne, Werner W & Weck-Hannemann, Hannelore, 1996. "Tax Rates, Tax Administration and Income Tax Evasion in Switzerland," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 88(1-2), pages 161-70, July.
- Srinivasan, T. N., 1973. "Tax evasion: A model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 339-346.
- Fishlow, Albert & Friedman, Jorge, 1994. "Tax evasion, inflation and stabilization," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 105-123, February.
- Kastlunger, Barbara & Kirchler, Erich & Mittone, Luigi & Pitters, Julia, 2009. "Sequences of audits, tax compliance, and taxpaying strategies," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 405-418, June.
- Clotfelter, Charles T, 1983. "Tax Evasion and Tax Rates: An Analysis of Individual Returns," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(3), pages 363-73, August.
- Erich Kirchler & Boris Maciejovsky & Herbert Schwarzenberger, 2003. "Specious Confidence after Tax Audits: A Contribition to the Dynamics of Compliance," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2003-14, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
- Francesco Guala & Luigi Mittone, 2005. "Experiments in economics: External validity and the robustness of phenomena," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 495-515.
- Alm, James & McClelland, Gary H. & Schulze, William D., 1992. "Why do people pay taxes?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 21-38, June.
- Elffers, Henk & Hessing, Dick J., 1997. "Influencing the prospects of tax evasion," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 18(2-3), pages 289-304, April.
- Alm, James & Jackson, Betty & McKee, Michael J., 1992. "Estimating the Determinants of Taxpayer Compliance with Experimental Data," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 45(1), pages 107-14, March.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
7656, David K. Levine.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
- Slemrod, Joel B, 1985. "An Empirical Test for Tax Evasion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(2), pages 232-38, May.
- Spicer, Michael W. & Thomas, J. Everett, 1982. "Audit probabilities and the tax evasion decision: An experimental approach," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 241-245, September.
- Friedland, Nehemiah & Maital, Shlomo & Rutenberg, Aryeh, 1978. "A simulation study of income tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 107-116, August.
- Mittone, Luigi, 2006.
"Dynamic behaviour in tax evasion: An experimental approach,"
Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics),
Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 813-835, October.
- Luigi Mittone, 2002. "Dynamic behaviours in tax evasion. An experimental approach," CEEL Working Papers 0203, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
- Alm, James & Sanchez, Isabel & de Juan, Ana, 1995. "Economic and Noneconomic Factors in Tax Compliance," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 3-18.
- Yaniv, Gideon, 1999. "Tax Compliance and Advance Tax Payments: A Prospect Theory Analysis," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 4), pages 753-64, December.
- Webley, Paul, 1987. "Audit probabilities and tax evasion in a business simulation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 267-270.
- Andreoni, J. & Erard, B. & Feinstein, J., 1996.
9610, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Spicer, M W & Lundstedt, S B, 1976. "Understanding Tax Evasion," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 31(2), pages 295-305.
- Park, Chang-Gyun & Hyun, Jin Kwon, 2003. "Examining the determinants of tax compliance by experimental data: a case of Korea," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 25(8), pages 673-684, November.
- Warneryd, Karl-Erik & Walerud, Bengt, 1982. "Taxes and economic behavior: Some interview data on tax evasion in Sweden," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 187-211, September.
- Spicer, Michael W. & Hero, Rodney E., 1985. "Tax evasion and heuristics : A research note," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 263-267, March.
- Gerxhani, Klarita & Schram, Arthur, 2006. "Tax evasion and income source: A comparative experimental study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 402-422, June.
- Kirchler, Erich & Maciejovsky, Boris, 2001. "Tax compliance within the context of gain and loss situations, expected and current asset position, and profession," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 173-194, April.
- McCaffery, Edward J. & Baron, Jonathan, 2004. "Framing and taxation: Evaluation of tax policies involving household composition," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 679-705, December.
- Reinganum, Jennifer F. & Wilde, Louis L., 1985. "Income tax compliance in a principal-agent framework," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-18, February.
- Alm, James & Cronshaw, Mark B & McKee, Michael, 1993. "Tax Compliance with Endogenous Audit Selection Rules," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 27-45.
- Porcano, Thomas M., 1988. "Correlates of tax evasion," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 47-67, March.
- Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
- Baldry, Jonathan C, 1987. "Income Tax Evasion and the Tax Schedule: Some Experimental Results," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 42(3), pages 357-83.
- Vital Anderhub & Sebastian Giese & Werner Güth & Antje Hoffmann & Thomas Otto, 2001. "Tax Evasion with Earned Income - An Experimental Study," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 58(2), pages 188-, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper0730. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Paul Benson)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.