Melbourne, Mar 21: When it comes to telling the truth about their taxes, women have a much higher level of tax morale than their male counterparts. The findings form the basis of a new book, Tax Compliance and Tax Morale: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, by Professor Benno Torgler from the Queensland University of Technology. Prof Torgler has based his book on a study he conducted.
He also found that apart from women, the elderly and the religious are the ones who will pay their taxes, and that ethics not financial penalties were what motivated people in this regard. "Nobody likes paying taxes, therefore a seemingly obvious government strategy is to enforce people to pay their taxes following a deterrence policy," the Courier Mail quoted him, as saying.
"But my research has shown that factors such as trust plays an important role in shaping tax morale around the world as well as in Australia. "Being a woman rather than a man increases the probability of a person stating that tax evasion is never justified. Therefore women have significantly higher levels of tax morale than men.
He stated that a key factor that influences tax morale was the relationship between the taxpayer and their government. This relationship, he said, has been improved in Australia thanks to the introduction of a self-assessment tax system and an improvement in the transparency of public administration.
"In 1995, 62 per cent of respondents thought that tax evasion was never justifiable, compared to 48 per cent in 1981," he said. "These findings are promising as they suggest that Australians' level of tax morale has in fact increased over the time period ... and the belief that people should pay their taxes appears to have become stronger in Australia since the early 1980s."