Unlocking what drives tax morale – the intrinsic willingness to pay tax – can greatly
assist governments in the design of tax policies and their administration, particularly
in developing countries where compliance rates are low. This report builds on previous
OECD research to identify some of the key socio-economic and institutional drivers
of tax morale across developing countries, and seeks to test for evidence of the social
contract by examining the impact of public services on tax morale. It also uses new
data on tax certainty as an entry point to explore tax morale in businesses, where
existing research is very limited. Finally, the report identifies a range of factors
related to the tax system that may affect business decision making, how they vary
across regions, and suggests some areas for future research. Overall, the report provides
a range of suggestions for further work, and how tax morale considerations can be
integrated into holistic tax compliance strategies.
As part of a new project on tax morale, the OECD has recently reanalysed the results of a survey of business perceptions on tax certainty, to identify the constraints and concerns they face in paying in taxes around the world. This new publication, to be launched at a special OECD session at the IFA 2019 Congress in London on 11 September, has identified some of the factors that may impact tax morale and attitudes towards compliance among businesses, and how they differ in different regions.