Taxpayer Compliance, Volume 2
Social Science Perspectives
Jeffrey A. Roth and John T. Scholz, Editors
"Together [with Volume 1] they provide a state-of-the-art summary of research in this field of study, which is likely to grow in both scholarly and practical significant in the future."—Choice
Not everyone complies with the United States Internal Revenue Code. Many individuals and organizations fail to file timely tax returns, assess their tax liability correctly, or pay taxes when due. To improve compliance, tax administrators must choose among alternative strategies, such as increasing evaders' risks of punishment, motivating social norms, and making compliance easier.
Concerned with these choices, the IRS asked the National Academy to assess previous research on the determinants of taxpayer compliance and to highlight the most promising areas for future research. The Academy's panel authored the two-volume Taxpayer Compliance. Volume 2 is a collection of eight background papers commissioned by the panel. They present novel theories and research ideas proposed by scholars from many social sciences to improve the understanding of taxpayer compliance. The varied topics addressed include: the political and institutional context of the American tax system; a typology of noncompliance; a study of the way the visibility of noncompliance affects patterns of taxpaying in the house-painting profession; and theories of ways tax practitioners may affect their clients' compliance.
These papers not only illustrate for a general audience what various disciplines can add to knowledge but also suggest for specialized researchers the opportunities that taxpayer compliance offers for extending and testing the theories of their disciplines.
Jeffrey A. Roth is Study Director for the Committee on Research on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice
John T. Scholz is Professor of Political Science at SUNY, Stony Brook.