Enhancing Tax Compliance Through Coercive and Legitimate Power of Authorities
41 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2013
Date Written: March 19, 2013
Strict enforcement and supportive procedures by tax authorities are often discussed as means of enhancing tax compliance. However, it is still not clear how these strategies influence tax compliance. The extended “slippery-slope framework” postulates that coercive power and legitimate power lead to tax compliance, albeit by leading the taxpayer along different motivational paths. The exercising of coercive power reduces citizens’ implicit trust in the authorities and increases the need for enforced compliance and perceptions of an antagonistic climate between tax authorities and taxpayers. Legitimate power is assumed to increase reason-based trust, voluntary cooperation and perceptions of a service climate. Two experimental studies that have manipulated qualities of power either separately or simultaneously have suggested that legitimate power affects intended tax compliance in line with theoretical predictions, whereas the effect of coercive power is less clear.
Keywords: tax compliance, coercive power, legitimate power, trust, “slippery-slope framework”
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