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Tangled up in tape: The continuing tax compliance plight of the small and medium enterprise business sector


Firms in the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector have to contend not just with the burden of tax. They also have to comply with obligations imposed by the tax system. Studies invariably show such tax compliance costs to be high and regressive. This article reports on a recent large-scale Australian study which confirm previous research and also suggests that tax compliance costs for SMEs are not diminishing over time, despite tax administrative reform and technological advances designed to reduce such costs. The outcomes of the study have significant implications for businesses in the SME sector, their advisers, administrators working with revenue authorities and policy-makers at the governmental level.

Author profiles

Prof Christopher Evans
Chris is a Professor, School of Taxation & Business Law, UNSW Sydney, Extraordinary Professor, Department of Taxation, University of Pretoria, and International Research Fellow, Centre for Business Taxation, University of Oxford. - Current at 27 October 2020
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Phil Lignier
Phil works for Tasmanian School of Business and Economics, University of Tasmania, Australia.
  • Current at 1 May 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 03 November 2016
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