Abraham, Martin Lorek, Kerstin Richter, Friedemann Wrede, Matthias
Year of Publication:
IWQW Discussion Paper Series 07/2014
Using the example of the inheritance tax, this paper examines whether and how the strictness of tax compliance norms depends on the interrelation between tax objectives, tax design, and taxed behavior. Building on the literature on tax evasion, optimal inheritance taxation, family economics, and social norms, the paper hypothesizes that a larger non-declared amount of transfer decreases the acceptability of tax evasion and that both an asset with emotional value and a higher degree of kinship increase the acceptance of evasion. Utilizing a survey with an experimental design on the acceptance of inheritance tax evasion that was conducted in Germany in 2012, the paper confirms these hypotheses empirically. The results indicate that violating a compliance norm is justifiable if the tax objectives are not infringed upon by the evasion or if the tax design is not considered useful to accomplish the aim of the tax. In contrast, the norm violation is less acceptable, if the underlying goal is at stake.
tax compliance social norms tax evasion inheritance tax