Original Research

Rewarding tax compliance: taxpayers' attitudes and beliefs

Marina Bornman, Lilla Stack
Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences | Vol 8, No 3 | a122 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jef.v8i3.122 | © 2018 Marina Bornman, Lilla Stack | 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
Lilla Stack, Department of Accounting, Rhodes University, South Africa

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In a society the tax climate is determined by the interaction between taxpayers and tax authorities. In a ‘service and client’ climate, taxpayers do not expect authorities to automatically suspect them of being tax evaders. Evidence suggests that recognising good tax behaviour with strategies of rewards has a positive effect on voluntary tax compliance. Principles derived from the cognitive evaluation theory predict that when feelings of competence are affirmed and this is accompanied by a sense of autonomy it can enhance the intrinsic motivation for an action. The present research surveyed the attitudes and beliefs of taxpayers involved in small business on being rewarded for tax compliance. Results were corroborated with the principles of the cognitive evaluation theory and it was found that that the principles of the theory are applicable to rewarding tax compliance behaviour.


tax compliance; rewards; cognitive evaluation theory; intrinsic motivation; voluntary tax compliance; taxpayers’ attitudes and beliefs; penalties


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