Towards Integrating Antecedents of Voluntary Tax Compliance
This thesis explores the integrative effect of social psychological factors among themselves as well as with economic deterrent factors in stimulating voluntary tax compliance, contributing to the tax compliance literature a theoretically relevant integrative approach that bridges between social psychological and economic deterrence approaches. It also contributes to the ecological validity of research on tax compliance behavior by comparing samples of two tax environments that are extremely unlike—one from a developing country (i.e., Ethiopia) and another from a developed country (i.e., the US).
Chapter 1 is an introductory chapter that seeks to introduce the thesis and summarize research on voluntary tax compliance, highlighting the need to integrate antecedents of voluntary tax compliance. Each of the three empirical chapters contributes to theoretical and empirical developments of the tax compliance literature.
Chapter 2 explores the moderating roles of two (i.e., coercive and legitimate) types of power wielded by the tax authority in the relationship between procedural justice and voluntary tax compliance as mediated by (cognition-based) trust in the authority. This study finds support for the prediction that high (but not low) coercive and low (but not high) legitimate power of the tax authority moderate the positive relationship between procedural justice and voluntary tax compliance. Only procedural justice by legitimate power interaction has been mediated by (cognition-based) trust.
Chapter 3 examines identification with the nation as a boundary condition to the interactive effect of procedural justice of and trust in the tax authority on voluntary tax compliance and finds support in two distinct samples for the prediction that the interactive effect (of procedural justice and trust) is significant among citizens who weakly (rather than strongly) identify with the nation.
Chapter 4 explores legitimacy of the tax authority as a boundary condition to the interactive effect of procedural and distributive justice in stimulating voluntary tax compliance and finds support in two studies for the prediction that high (but not low) legitimate power moderates the interactive effect of procedural and distributive justice on voluntary tax compliance. Chapter 5 discusses in detail the empirical findings presented in this dissertation with emphasis on their theoretical as well as practical contributions and limitations.