Tax Compliance Costs: A Review of Cost Burdens and Cost Structures

43 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2014 Last revised: 24 Mar 2015

See all articles by Sebastian Eichfelder

Sebastian Eichfelder

Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg

François Vaillancourt

University of Montreal

Date Written: November 2014


Our paper provides a comprehensive report of empirical research on tax compliance costs. Compared to previous reviews, our focus is on average costs for sub-groups (individual taxpayers, small businesses, large businesses) and the composition of the cost burden with regards to different cost components (in-house time effort, external adviser costs, other monetary expenses), different taxes (e.g. income tax, value added tax) and different activities like tax accounting and tax planning. In addition, we give a short review of the most important compliance cost drivers and discuss the underlying causes of tax complexity and compliance costs.

Keywords: tax compliance costs, cost structures, cost burdens, cost drivers

JEL Classification: H21, H24, H25

Suggested Citation

Eichfelder, Sebastian and Vaillancourt, François, Tax Compliance Costs: A Review of Cost Burdens and Cost Structures (November 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Sebastian Eichfelder (Contact Author)

Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg ( email )

Universitätspl. 2
PSF 4120
Magdeburg, D-39106
0391-67-18811 (Phone)

François Vaillancourt

University of Montreal ( email )

C.P. 6128, succursale Centre-Ville
Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7

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