Original Research

The determinants and measurement of trust in tax authorities as a factor influencing tax compliance behaviour

Marina Bornman
Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences | Vol 8, No 3 | a121 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jef.v8i3.121 | © 2018 Marina Bornman | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 December 2017 | Published: 27 December 2015

About the author(s)

Marina Bornman, Department of Accountancy, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

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To trust is to believe that another person will cooperate for your benefit and will not take advantage of you if an opportunity to do so arises. Trust is valued as a relational variable providing the base for voluntary cooperation. This article aims to determine, by reviewing studies on the effect of trust in tax authorities on tax compliance, the determinants, effect and measurement of trust in this context. Findings from a number of studies indicated that trust in tax authorities is positively related to tax compliance, and it was found that perceptions of fairness, treatment by authorities, norms and attitudes, and subjective tax knowledge are the main factors determining trust in tax authorities. However, many studies use very limited descriptors when measuring perceptions of trust in authorities, and it is suggested that a standardised survey instrument could be developed to measure such perceptions.


trust; tax compliance; procedural justice; legitimacy; identity; norms and attitudes


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