Mental Accounting of Self-Employed Taxpayers: On the Mental Segregation of the Net Income and the Tax Due
39 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2013
Date Written: July 17, 2013
Mental accounting practices of self-employed taxpayers are investigated in two studies. Interviews (N=30) revealed that perceptions of the tax due differ widely. While a majority seems to mentally segregate the tax component from their net income, others claim ownership of the gross income as a whole and consequently experience a loss when paying taxes. A survey (N=172) shows that mental segregation is associated with age, income, and number of employees, and is further related to attitudes towards taxes and self-reported compliance. It is concluded that especially inexperienced self-employed should be trained in favorable mental tax accounting practices to foster their voluntary compliance.
Keywords: mental accounting, segregation, tax compliance, tax evasion, voluntary compliance
JEL Classification: D81, H24, H26, M13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation