Use Tax Awareness and Compliance: A Survey Analysis

8 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2012

See all articles by Geoffrey Propheter

Geoffrey Propheter

New York City Independent Budget Office

Date Written: July 23, 2012


This report applies statistical analysis to a non-scientific survey of attitudes toward the use tax among Californian taxpayers. There are three noteworthy conclusions. First, making consumers aware of their legal obligation to remit use tax increases the probability of compliance. Second, higher-income earners are just as likely to evade use tax as lower income earners, holding out-of-state spending constant, which suggests that evasion reduces the regressive incidence of sales and use taxes. Third, evaders are more likely to continue evading even when they are afforded the option to earmark their taxes toward specific causes; however, some causes appear to motivate more compliance than others.

Keywords: use tax, e-commerce, tax evasion, survey

Suggested Citation

Propheter, Geoffrey, Use Tax Awareness and Compliance: A Survey Analysis (July 23, 2012). State Tax Notes, Vol. 65, No. 4, 2012. Available at SSRN:

Geoffrey Propheter (Contact Author)

New York City Independent Budget Office ( email )

110 William St 14th Floor
New York City, NY 10038
United States

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