Global relations and development

Tax Morale

What Drives People and Businesses to Pay Tax?

Published on September 11, 2019

Unlocking what drives tax morale – the intrinsic willingness to pay tax – can greatly assist governments in the design of tax policies and their administration, particularly in developing countries where compliance rates are low. This report builds on previous OECD research to identify some of the key socio-economic and institutional drivers of tax morale across developing countries, and seeks to test for evidence of the social contract by examining the impact of public services on tax morale. It also uses new data on tax certainty as an entry point to explore tax morale in businesses, where existing research is very limited. Finally, the report identifies a range of factors related to the tax system that may affect business decision making, how they vary across regions, and suggests some areas for future research. Overall, the report provides a range of suggestions for further work, and how tax morale considerations can be integrated into holistic tax compliance strategies.


Abbreviations and acronyms
Executive Summary
Tax morale in individuals
Tax morale in businesses
Annexes2 chapters available
Methodology – Individuals
Methodology – Business
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Launch event

As part of a new project on tax morale, the OECD has recently reanalysed the results of a survey of business perceptions on tax certainty, to identify the constraints and concerns they face in paying in taxes around the world. This new publication, to be launched at a special OECD session at the IFA 2019 Congress in London on 11 September, has identified some of the factors that may impact tax morale and attitudes towards compliance among businesses, and how they differ in different regions.