Licia Romagnoli, Cinzia Castiglioni, Edoardo Lozza

Promoting tax compliance: An ethnographic study on the interaction between tax practitioners and tax authorities during a Revenue Agency cross-examination

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Keywords: tax compliance, tax practitioners, tax authorities, cross-examination, dyadic interaction, focused ethnography

In the field of fiscal psychology, a growing number of studies supported the importance of promoting a good relationship between taxpayers, tax practitioners, and tax authorities in order to foster tax compliance. While several studies have focused on taxpayers, only a few studies have kept into account the role of tax practitioners and tax authorities. Even fewer studies have examined the opportunities for interaction between different players. The present study aims to investigate the relational dynamics between tax practitioners and tax authorities during a cross-examination, which is one of the most important touchpoints in the Revenue Agency control area. A focused ethnographic approach was adopted to investigate the dyadic interaction during cross-examinations. Following, in-depth interviews were conducted. Findings suggest the existence of four different strategies (Authority, Flexibility, Listening, and Defence) which need to be wisely adopted by tax authorities to promote a cooperative interaction and avoid a conflictual one. It is also suggested that the opportunity In the field of fiscal psychology, a growing number of studies supported the importance of promoting a good relationship between taxpayers, tax practitioners, and tax authorities in order to foster tax compliance. While several studies have focused on taxpayers, only a few studies have kept into account the role of tax practitioners and tax authorities. Even fewer studies have examined the opportunities for interaction between different players. The present study aims to investigate the relational dynamics between tax practitioners and tax authorities during a cross-examination, which is one of the most important touchpoints in the Revenue Agency control area. A focused ethnographic approach was adopted to investigate the dyadic interaction during cross-examinations. Following, in-depth interviews were conducted. Findings suggest the existence of four different strategies (Authority, Flexibility, Listening, and Defence) which need to be wisely adopted by tax authorities to promote a cooperative interaction and avoid a conflictual one. It is also suggested that the opportunity for tax practitioners to physically meet tax authorities may increase overall satisfaction and trust towards the tax system

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