Source: Australian Tax Forum Journal Article
Published Date: 1 Jul 2018
A value-added tax (VAT) may induce businesses to make a clear decision as to operating outside the formal economy, with the VAT seen as a real cost. It is suggested that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are more likely to contribute to the cash economy, so it is important to have a greater understanding of the factors that may make SMEs more tax compliant, especially with VAT. Potential motivators for complying with a VAT are the managerial benefits that arise from keeping tax records.
This article reports the findings from a survey of 240 SMEs in a developing country, with the findings suggesting that for non-compliant taxpayers, being aware of the potential managerial benefits from complying with VAT appears to be more persuasive than the imposition of penalties. In this way, compliance may be improved if taxpayers see "what's in it for me" in terms of complying with a country's VAT system.
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