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Understanding clients’ ties to a tax practitioner: The mediating influence of trust and service satisfaction


Research increasingly points to the intangible, ambiguous, global and technical nature of tax practitioner services and the importance of the relationship of the tax practitioner with clients. This article examines how a client’s trust of the tax practitioner and satisfaction with their services influences the client’s commitment to this service relationship. To determine how trust and service satisfaction affects the relationship between interaction behaviour factors and client relationship commitment, a total of 211 responses from clients of various accounting and law firms in New Zealand were analysed.

The data is analysed using the Hayes PROCESS macro for SPSS. The findings suggest a client’s trust of their tax practitioner and satisfaction with their services are instrumental to commitment to the client relationship. In addition, the findings reveal that client relationship commitment significantly reduces when a tax practitioner gives an honest opinion to clients about any ambiguous or grey areas of tax laws involved, and explains implications of tax laws and regulations regarding their tax affairs.

The study suggests that effective development of the skills of tax practitioners that builds their clients’ confidence about effectiveness of the working papers could improve the overall client relationship and promote a tax compliance culture.

Author profile

Ranjana Gupta
Ranjana is a Senior Lecturer,Taxation, Accounting Department, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, Auckland University of Technology. - Current at 17 April 2020
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