Globalisation, Innovation and Information Sharing in Tax Systems: The Australian experience of the diffusion and adoption of electronic lodgement
The aim of this research was to apply a new conceptual framework to describe and explain the factors that have enabled the diffusion, adoption and operationalisation of electronic lodgement within the Australian tax system. The uptake of electronic lodgement of tax returns by both tax agents and taxpayers has increased significantly since introduction. Electronic lodgement of tax returns is part of a burgeoning global trend by OECD members to engage in and broaden the implementation of e-government applications. This research applied an eight factor framework to analyse the diffusion and adoption of electronic lodgement of tax returns within Australia. These eight factors were the circulation of ideas, national context, tax policy context, technological context, path of entry, effectiveness of champions, roles of key constituents and internal and external networks of support. The methodology comprised textual analysis and in-depth interviews. This study revealed that a coalescence of factors and actors were pivotal in enabling the diffusion and adoption of electronic lodgement services within the Australian national context. Globalisation, information exchange and advances in technology in computer hardware and software were key drivers. Contemporary issues in the Australian tax administration system and the broader national context were also influential. This study highlights that Australia was amongst the countries championing the global phenomenon of use of electronic lodgement services within tax authorities. The framework provided a comprehensive means to analyse and explain the diffusion and adoption of electronic lodgement strategies within the Australian environment.
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