Tax Morale as Perceived by Accounting Professionals

25 Pages Posted: 28 May 2021

See all articles by Antonio Lopo Martinez

Antonio Lopo Martinez

University of Coimbra; University of Salamanca

Ivan R. F. Pereira

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: May 27, 2021


This study evaluates taxpayer morale through the perception of accounting professionals, specifically whether there is an impact from i) penalties, ii) tax audit probability, iii) rewards, and iv) tax amnesties. A perception survey with accountants is more reliable than with the taxpayers because they tend to report accurate perceptions, knowing close the degree of tax morale of their clients. Based on the literature, it is observed that taxpayer behavior has been analyzed by the rational economic model and the so-called crime paradigm, which relied on the idea that taxpayers would be potential offenders, aiming only at advantages. With a multidisciplinary approach with a sociological and psychological perspective, tax morale was measured through a self-applied questionnaire, showing higher or lower accountants' perception on tax morale of taxpayers concerning the incentives analyzed captured from 344 Brazilian accountants. The research findings indicate that the application of punishments and penalties are the most potent instruments for raising tax compliance, along with the perceived likelihood of an audit. In contrast, the successive application of tax amnesty programs erodes tax morale. This research is relevant because it deepens the understanding of what legislators and tax administration can do or not do to encourage greater tax morale.

Keywords: Tax morale, tax compliance, rewards, tax amnesty, Accountants' perceptions

JEL Classification: H20

Suggested Citation

Martinez, Antonio Lopo and F. Pereira, Ivan R., Tax Morale as Perceived by Accounting Professionals (May 27, 2021). Available at SSRN: or

Antonio Lopo Martinez (Contact Author)

University of Coimbra ( email )

Pátio das Escolas

University of Salamanca ( email )

Campus Miguel de Unamuno
Salamanca, Salamanca 23007

Ivan R. F. Pereira

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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