Effectiveness of Repeated Implementation Intention-Interventions on Organizations’ Likelihood to File Their Overdue Taxes

34 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2017 Last revised: 16 Dec 2023

See all articles by Julian House

Julian House

Ontario Public Service; University of Toronto

Nicole Robitaille

Queen's University

Nina Mazar

Boston University - Questrom School of Business

Date Written: October 12, 2018


This paper investigates the effect of facilitating implementation intentions on organizations’ tax compliance behavior. We conducted a large-scale, multi-wave field experiment involving the tax-paying behavior of all organizations that failed to file timely annual returns for a payroll tax in the province of Ontario. Organizations were randomly assigned to receive one of two letters: Ontario’s standard late notice (control) and a revised experimental late notice, which included step-by-step instructions of when, where and how to file a return. Our data indicate that instilling implementation intentions is effective at increasing organizations’ timely tax payment. In addition to replicating these findings across two waves, we find no evidence of habituation to our intervention over time. Our results provide evidence that procrastination may be a substantial but solvable barrier to improving organizational tax compliance. Moreover, we demonstrate the effectiveness of an intervention that typically targets individual’s behavior in the realm of organizational behavior.

Keywords: Government Tax Policy, Organizational Studies Behavior, Economics Behavior and Behavioral Decision Making, Multi-wave field experiment

JEL Classification: M

Suggested Citation

House, Julian and Robitaille, Nicole and Mazar, Nina, Effectiveness of Repeated Implementation Intention-Interventions on Organizations’ Likelihood to File Their Overdue Taxes (October 12, 2018). Rotman School of Management Working Paper No. 2997993, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2997993 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2997993

Julian House

Ontario Public Service ( email )

7 Queen's Park Crescent
Toronto, Ontario M7A1Y7

University of Toronto ( email )

105 St George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G8

Nicole Robitaille

Queen's University ( email )

Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6

Nina Mazar (Contact Author)

Boston University - Questrom School of Business ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02215
United States

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