A field experiment in moral suasion and tax compliance focusing on underdeclaration and overdeduction

Torgler, Benno (2013) A field experiment in moral suasion and tax compliance focusing on underdeclaration and overdeduction. FinanzArchiv : Public Finance Analysis, 69(4), pp. 393-411.

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One of very few field experiments in tax compliance, this study generates a unique data set on Swiss taxpayers’ underdeclaration of income and wealth and overdeduction of tax credits by obtaining exclusive access to tax-return corrections made by the tax administration. Using this commune-level data from Switzerland, it explores the influence on tax compliance of moral suasion, introduced through a treatment in which taxpayers receive a letter containing normative appeals signed by the commune’s fiscal commissioner. This letter also serves to operationalize elements of social identity and (mutual) trust. Interestingly, the results not only echo the earlier finding that moral suasion has barely any effect on taxpayer compliance, but show clear differences between underdeclaration and overdeduction.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
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2 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 66144
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: tax compliance, moral suasion, social identity, (mutual) trust, field experiment
DOI: 10.1628/001522113X675647
ISSN: 0015-2218
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Economics & Finance
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Co. KG
Deposited On: 14 Jan 2014 23:59
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2014 00:43

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