20 Austl. Tax F. 157 (2005)
Taxpayer Beliefs and Views: Two New Surveys

handle is hein.journals/austraxrum20 and id is 155 raw text is: Taxpayer Beliefs and Views:
Two New Surveys
Simon James, Kristina Murphy and
Monika Reinhart*
Abstract
The importance of behavioural economics in supplementing and extending the
neoclassical analysis of taxpayer behaviour has been recognised for some time.This
paper summarises contributions to date and outlines a way forward for integrating
the behavioural and neoclassical approaches and developing a more coherent
strategy of encouraging taxpayer compliance. The paper then provides significant
further evidence relating to taxpayer behaviour by reporting some of the main results
of two substantial surveys (N = 2,040 and 2,374) ofAustralian citizens' beliefs,
attitudes, values and motivations with respect to the tax system, widely defined. It
is concluded that the behaviour ofAustralian taxpayers is not determined only by
considerations of narrow economic rationality based on the expected financial costs
and benefits of compliance or non-compliance but is also influenced by a much wider
range of factors. Examination of the importance of these other factors might be the
most fruitful way of improving tax compliance in the future.
* Simon James is at the University of Exeter, UK and aVisiting Fellow at the Australian
National University and Kristina Murphy and Monika Reinhart are at the Centre
for Tax Systen Integrity, Australian National University. The authors are grateful for
helpful coninents on earlier versions of the paper at presentations at The Australian
National University, Universitv of Sydney, University of Queensland, the AustralianTax
Office at Brisbane and Hobart, the Conference of the Society for the Advancement of
Behavioral Economics at Lake Tahoe, USA, the ACIPFAL Conference in Cardiff, the
Tax Research Network conference at the University of Oxford and Jayne ClancyThis
paper was received for publication 13 January 2005.
157

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