Many of the papers in this volume are supportive of the proposition that

Many of the papers in this volume are supportive of

This preview shows page 292 - 294 out of 311 pages.

Many of the papers in this volume are supportive of the proposition that outcomes of this kind are achieved through direct intervention in the human system, that is, going further than changing law and administrative procedures to improving the quality of the relationship between the tax office and the taxpayer. Actions might include the tax authority being reasonable and clear in its day-to-day communication with taxpayers, listening to taxpayers, treating them with respect, responding to concerns, and following through purposefully to elicit compliance. Those who engage with the human dimension of compliance in this relational way are likely to reap a double reward. As tax officers listen to taxpayers to better understand the reasons that underlie resistance to compliance, it is unlikely that the feedback they receive is solely related to their localized compliance problem. The functional lines of a tax office are meaningful within the organisation to those familiar with its operations, but are relatively meaningless to most outsiders who are likely to see the tax office and the tax system as one entity. Thus, while listening to the taxpaying community, taxpayers are faced with a reality that is not bounded by a localized compliance problem, and in the process find a bridge to engage with the broader issue of institutional integrity. They learn, through the eyes of those outside, how a localized compliance problem sits alongside compliance problems elsewhere in the organisation to create a picture of institutional integrity overall. In summary, from a tax office perspective, administrative and legal system management (as represented in the left column of Figure 13.1), involving changes to the way messages are given and responses are monitored, create a complex mix of compliance outcomes for the organisation, as well as various challenges to the integrity of the tax system. In contrast, interventions in human management to improve taxpayers’ readiness to cooperate with the tax office (as represented in the top row of Figure 13.1) are more uniform in their effects. Through building more cooperative relationships with taxpayers, tax officials can reasonably hope for improved compliance, as well as improvements in how the tax system is perceived from outside, that is, in its external integrity. Winning approval of this kind in the community may be particularly helpful when a tax system is forced to change through external pressures such as globalisation. Arguably, a community will be
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Tax System Integrity and Compliance 283 more forgiving of a high integrity system struggling to adapt to change than of a low integrity system placed under pressure from outside. Compliance and integrity may be more likely to be mutually supportive when tax design deliberations are inclusive of the human system, but it should not be assumed that regulatory conversations of this kind are conflict free. There is an assumption, however, that out of this conflict will emerge acceptance, if not consensus, about how the tax system should evolve. Survey research in Australia
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  • Fall '16
  • tax authority, Australian Taxation Office, Tax Office, Compliance Model

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