Taxpayers’ Attitudes Toward Tax Compliance in Developed and Developing Countries: A Critical Review of the Literature

Ma, Jie
Gupta, Ranjana
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Master of Business
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Auckland University of Technology

Objectives and contributions. The main objective of this research was to provide a review and synthesis of the published literature concerning taxpayers’ attitudes toward tax compliance in developed and developing countries. This study has made an important contribution to tax attitude literature. In particular, this study has helped to clarify the relationship between determinants and tax compliance attitudes, highlighting gaps in the existing literature, thereby providing direction for future researchers. Findings. The findings of this study reveal that some determinants have significant impacts on tax compliance attitudes in both developed and developing countries such as socio-demographic factors (marital status and occupational status); economic factors (tax rate and probability of detection); reciprocity (trust in government and fairness); peer influence and culture. Some determinants have generally been found to have a positive correlation between tax compliance attitudes in developed countries such as age, gender and direct democracy; however, these determinants have been shown to have no significant effects on tax compliance attitudes in developing countries. Some determinants such as tax knowledge only influence tax compliance attitudes in developing countries. Determinants such as income level have produced very mixed results and remain uncertain in both developed and developing countries. Some determinants such as national pride and religiosity have been found to have a positive correlation with positive attitudes toward tax compliance in developed countries; however, there are lack of studies on the impact of these determinants in developing countries. Conclusion. The findings suggest that in order to improve the willingness of taxpayers to comply with tax laws, the tax authorities should monitor more closely those who may not perceive fairness and trustworthiness in the tax laws. Based on the analysis above, taxpayers who are singles and self-employed, those who have not been audited in the past, those whose perceive the tax rate as too high and those who comes from countries that have a higher level of uncertainty avoidance and a lower level of individualism should be the focus of efforts to improve their tax compliance attitudes. The results also suggest that to improve tax compliance attitudes the tax revenue authorities should target taxpayers those who are younger, male and do not perceive direct democracy in developed countries, as well as taxpayers who have a low level of tax knowledge in developing countries.

Tax compliance attitudes , Tax morale , Tax compliance , Developed and developing countries
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