Quality of Government Services and the Civic Duty to Pay Taxes in the Czech and Slovak Republics, and other Transition Countries
A 2002 survey of 1089 Czechs and 501 Slovaks, as well as a more limited survey of Hungary, and Poland, indicates that an individual may evade taxes in part if he believes he is receiving substandard government services. We suggest that an individual’s evaluation of the quality of government services is not influenced by his need to justify his evasion. Self-reported measures of morality show no correlation with evasion. This suggests that perceptions of government services are not shaped by an individual’s need to justify his evasion. This gives weight to our finding that the perceived quality of government services influences evasion. The less quality of government services an individual reports, the more likely he is to evade taxes. A 20% increase in the perception that government services are of quality would lead to a 5% decrease in the number of frequent tax evaders and a 12% increase in the number who never evade. Governments in transition countries who suffer from weak tax collection apparatus may wish to transmit clear information on the quality of their services in order to cut down on evasion.
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