Legal Aspects of Behaviourally Informed Strategies to Enhance Tax Compliance

Tax and Trust, Institutions, Interactions and Instruments, 2019, ISBN 978-94-6236-819-4

31 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2018 Last revised: 28 Sep 2019

See all articles by Koos Boer

Koos Boer

Leiden University

Hans Gribnau

Tilburg Law School; Leiden University

Date Written: December 4, 2018

Abstract

Revenue authorities nowadays use different kinds of behaviourally informed strategies – functioning as ‘tax nudges’ – to raise voluntary compliance. This paper begins with setting out the background of promoting voluntary compliance by employing behaviourally informed tools. Because these tax nudges are being operated in a legal environment, various legal questions arise. It is argued that the use of behaviourally informed instruments needs to be in accordance with general legal principles, such as the principle of honouring legitimate expectations and the principle of equality. The importance of these legal principles is demonstrated by analysing concrete examples, such as the pre-filled tax return and horizontal monitoring. It is argued that those legal questions should be thought through and worked out – preferably before being implemented – within a legal framework in which (legal) principles are of a fundamental nature. This paper’s focus is on the behaviourally informed tools as designed and used by the Netherlands Tax and Customs Administration.

Keywords: nudging, behavioural insights, legal framework, compliance, voluntary compliance, tax, legal principles, legitimate expectations, equality, pre-filled tax return, horizontal monitoring

Suggested Citation

Boer, Koos and Gribnau, Hans, Legal Aspects of Behaviourally Informed Strategies to Enhance Tax Compliance (December 4, 2018). Tax and Trust, Institutions, Interactions and Instruments, 2019, ISBN 978-94-6236-819-4, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3295964 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3295964

Koos Boer

Leiden University ( email )

Postbus 9500
Leiden, Zuid Holland 2300 RA
Netherlands

Hans Gribnau (Contact Author)

Tilburg Law School ( email )

Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Leiden University ( email )

P.O. Box 9520
2300 RA Leiden, NL-2300RA
Netherlands

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