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Personal taxpayer compliance costs: Recent evidence from Australia


This article reports on the tax compliance burden of Australian personal (non-business) taxpayers in the 2011−-12 tax year. A survey of just over 4,000 individuals was conducted in late 2012 and average tax compliance costs were derived from the data and combined with macro-statistics to generate aggregate personal taxpayer compliance costs. The study demonstrates that personal taxpayer compliance costs have grown by about 73 per cent since 1995 and suggests that various technologically driven simplification initiatives undertaken by the government (such as e-tax and pre-filled income tax returns) have not been sufficient to slow down this growth in personal tax compliance costs.

Author profiles

Phil Lignier
Phil works at Tasmanian School of Business and Economics, University of Tasmania, Australia.
  • Current at 1 April 2014
  • - Current at 15 April 2014
    Binh Tran-Nam
    Binh is a Professor, School of Taxation & Business Law, UNSW Australia and RMIT Asia Graduate Centre, RMIT University Vietnam, and International Fellow, Tax Administration Research Centre, Exeter University-Institute for Fiscal Studies. - Current at 07 August 2012
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    Prof Christopher Evans
    Chris is a Professor, School of Taxation & Business Law, UNSW Australia, Extraordinary Professor, Department of Taxation, University of Pretoria, and Senior Research Fellow, Tax Law and Policy Research Group, Monash University. - Current at 06 October 2016
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