Taxation: Compliance with Federal Personal Income Tax Laws

  • John S. Carroll


Think for a moment about the importance and ubiquity of taxpaying in modern life. Tax-paying and voting are the major opportunities for most citizens to relate to government. Personal income taxes are a considerable burden, in terms of money, time, and aggravation. Taxation is a major political issue: President Bush somehow reconciles his desire to avoid raising taxes with the necessity of reducing the deficit through “users’ fees” and “revenue sources, ” which seem to mean the same thing.


Internal Revenue Code Individual Taxpayer Taxpayer Compliance Honest Taxpayer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aitken, S.S., & Bonneville, L. (1980, March). A general taxpayer opinion survey. Washington DC: CSR Inc.Google Scholar
  2. Assembly Committee on Criminal Procedure (California). (1975). Public knowledge of criminal penalties. In R.L. Henshel & R.A. Silverman (Eds.), Perception in criminology (pp. 74–90). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Ayres, F.L., Jackson, B.R., & Hite, P.S. (1989). The economic benefits of regulation: Evidence from professional tax preparers. The Accounting Review, 64, 300–312.Google Scholar
  4. Barley, S.R. (1991). Contextualizing conflict: Notes on the anthropology of disputes and negotiations. In M. Bazerman, B. Sheppard, & R. Lewicki (Eds.), Research on negotiation in organizations, Vol. 3 (pp. 165–199). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  5. Becker, G. (1968). Crime and punishment: An economic approach. Journal of Political Economy, 76, 169–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blumstein, A. (1983). Models for structuring taxpayer compliance. In P. Sawicki (Ed.), Income tax compliance: A report of the ABA Section of Taxation, invitational conference on income tax compliance. Washington DC: American Bar Association.Google Scholar
  7. Cahalan, M., & Ekstrand, L.E. (1980). Who are the tax cheaters and why do they cheat? Rockville, MD: Westat.Google Scholar
  8. Carroll, J.S. (1978). A psychological approach to deterrence: The evaluation of crime opportunities. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36, 1512–1520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Carroll, J.S. (1982). Committing a crime: The offender’s decision. In V.J. Koneeni & E.B. Ebbesen (Eds.), The criminal justice system: A social-psychological analysis (pp. 49–68). San Francisco: W.H. Freeman.Google Scholar
  10. Carroll, J.S. (1989). A cognitive-process analysis of taxpayer compliance. In J. Roth, & J. Scholz (Eds.), Taxpayer compliance, Vol. 2: Social science perspectives (pp. 228–272). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania.Google Scholar
  11. Clarke, R.V., & Cornish, D.B. (1985). Modelling offenders’ decisions: A framework for research and policy. In M. Tonry & N. Morris (Eds.), Crime and justice: An annual review of research (Vol. 6, pp. 147–185). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  12. Cohen, M.D., March, J.G., & Olsen, J.P. (1972). A garbage can model of organizational choice. Administrative Science Quarterly, 17, 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Comptroller General (1978). Further simplification of income tax forms and instructions is needed and possible. Report to the Joint Committe on Taxation, U.S. Congress, July 5.Google Scholar
  14. Cook, P.J. (1981). Research in criminal deterrence: Laying the groundwork for the second decade. In N. Morris & M. Tonry (Eds.), Crime and justice: An annual review of research (Vol. 2) Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  15. Cyert, R.M., & March, J.G. (1963). A behavioral theory of the firm. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  16. Einhorn, H.J., & Hogarth, R.M. (1985). Ambiguity and uncertainty in probabilistic inference. Psychological Review, 92, 433–461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ekland-Olson, S., Lieb, J., & Zürcher, L. (1984). The paradoxical impact of criminal sanctions: Some microstructural findings. Law and Society Review, 18, 159–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fischhoff, B., Slovic, P., & Lichtenstein, S. (1980). Knowing what you want: Measuring labile values. In T. Wallsten (Ed.), Cognitive processes in choice and decision behavior (pp. 117–141). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  19. Grasmick, H.G., & Scott, W.J. (1982). Tax evasion and mechanisms of social control: A comparison with grand and petty theft. Journal of Economic Psychology, 2, 213–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Humphreys, P., & Berkeley, D. (1983). Problem structuring calculi and levels of knowledge representation in decision making. In R.W. Scholz (Ed.), Decision making under uncertainty (pp. 121–157). New York: North Holland.Google Scholar
  21. ICF Inc. (1985, January). Summary of public attitudes survey findings. Report to the IRS. Washington DC.Google Scholar
  22. Internal Revenue Code. United States Code. (1989). Section 26, Washington DC: Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  23. Internal Revenue Service. (1983). Conference on tax administration research strategies. Office of the Assistant Commissioner (Planning, Finance and Research), Vols. I and II. Washington DC: Author.Google Scholar
  24. Internal Revenue Service. (1985, January). IRS function summaries: A descriptive summary of IRS operations. Paper from the IRS Conference. Washington DC: Author.Google Scholar
  25. Jaques, E. (1976). A general theory of bureaucracy. London: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  26. Kagan, R.A. (1989). On the visibility of income tax law Violations. In J. Roth & J. Scholz (Eds.), Taxpayer compliance: Social science perspectives (pp. 76–125). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania.Google Scholar
  27. Kidder, R., & McEwen, C. (1989). Tax-paying behavior in social context: A tentative typology of tax compliance and noncompliance. In J. Roth & J. Scholz (Eds.), Taxpayer compliance: Social science perspectives (pp. 47–75). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania.Google Scholar
  28. Kinsey, K.A. (1984, December). Survey data on tax compliance: A compendium and review. American Bar Foundation Tax Compliance Working Paper 84–1. Chicago: American Bar Association.Google Scholar
  29. Kinsey, K.A. (1985). Theory and models of tax evasion. American Bar Foundation Tax Compliance Working Paper 84–2. Chicago: American Bar Association.Google Scholar
  30. Klepper, S., & Nagin, D. (1989). The anatomy of tax evasion. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 5, 1–24.Google Scholar
  31. Kohlberg, L. (1976). Moral stages and moralization: The cognitive-developmental approach. In T. Liekona (Ed.), Moral development and behavior. New York: Holt, Reinhart & Winston.Google Scholar
  32. Kunreuther, H., Ginsberg, R., Miller, L., Sagi, P., Slovic, P., Borkan, B., & Katz, N. (1978). Disaster insurance protection: Public policy lessons. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  33. Lewis, A. (1982). The psychology of taxation. New York: St. Martins.Google Scholar
  34. Loftus, E.F. (1985, April). To file, perchance to cheat. Psychology Today, pp. 34–39.Google Scholar
  35. Long, S.B. (1981). Social control in the civil law: The case of income tax enforcement. In H.L. Ross (Ed.), Law and deviance (pp. 185–214). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  36. March, J.G., & Olsen, J.P. (Eds.). (1976). Ambiguity and choice in organizations. Bergen, Norway: Universitetsforlaget.Google Scholar
  37. March, J.G., & Simon, H.A. (1958). Organizations. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  38. Mason, R. (1987). A communications model of taxpayer honesty. Law and Policy, 9, 246–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Montgomery, H. (1983). Decision rules and the search for a dominance structure: Towards a process model of decision making. In P. Humphreys, O. Svenson, & A. Vari (Eds.), Analysing and aiding decision processes (pp. 343–369). New York: North Holland.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Nisbett, R.E., & Wilson, T.D. (1977). Telling more than we can know: Verbal reports on mental processes. Psychological Review 84, 231–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Paternoster, R., Saltzman, L.E., Waldo, G.P., & Chiricos, T.G. (1982). Causal ordering in deterrence research: An examination of the perceptions-behavior relationship. In J. Hagan (Ed.), Deterrence reconsidered: Methodological innovations (pp. 55–70). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  42. Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co, 157 U.S. 429. Affirmed on rehearing, 158 U.S. 601 (1895).Google Scholar
  43. Popkin, W.D. (1985). Statutes and principles: The case of the Internal Revenue Code. Talk presented at Law and Society Association, San Diego, CA.Google Scholar
  44. Rollins, J. (1985). Between women: Domestics and their employers. Philadelphia: Temple University.Google Scholar
  45. Rosenthal, R. (1976). Experimenter effects in behavioral research. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  46. Scholz, J.T. (1985, October). Coping with complexity: A bounded rationality perspective on taxpayer compliance. In Proceedings of the Seventy-Eighth Annual Conference on Taxation NTA-TIA. Columbus, OH: National Tax Association.Google Scholar
  47. Schwartz, R.D., & Orleans, S. (1967). On legal sanctions. University of Chicago Law Review, 34, 274–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Scott, W.J., & Grasmick, H.G. (1981). Deterrence and income tax cheating: Testing interaction hypotheses in utilitarian theories. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 17 (3), 395–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Simon, H.A. (1955). A behavioral model of rational choice. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 59, 99–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Smith, K.W., & Kinsey, K.A. (1987). Understanding taxpaying behavior: A conceptual framework with implications for research. Law and Society Review, 21, 639–663.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Spicer, M.W., & Becker, L. (1980, June). Fiscal inequality and tax evasion: An experimental approach. National Tax Journal, 33, 171–175.Google Scholar
  52. Spicer, M.W., & Lundstedt, S.B. (1976). Understanding tax evasion. Public Finance, 31 (2), 295–305.Google Scholar
  53. Sykes, G., & Matza, D. (1957). Techniques of neutralization: A theory of delinquency. American Sociological Review, 22, 664–470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Thurman, Q.C., St. John, C., & Riggs, L. (1984). Neutralization and tax evasion. Law and Policy, 6, 309–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1974). Judgment under uncertainty: Heuristics and biases. Science, 185, 1124–1131.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Tyler, T.R., & Bies, R.J. (1990). Beyond formal procedures: The interpersonal context of procedural justice. In J.S. Carroll (Ed.), Applied social psychology and organizational settings (pp. 77–98). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  57. Vogel, J. (1974). Taxation and public opinion in Sweden: An interpretation of recent survey data. National Tax Journal, 27, 499–513.Google Scholar
  58. Weaver, F.M., & Carroll, J.S. (1985). Crime perceptions in a natural setting by expert and novice shoplifters. Social Psychology Quarterly, 48, 349–359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Weick, K.E. (1977). Enactment processes in organizations. In B.M. Staw & G.R. Salancik, (Eds.), New directions in organizational behavior (pp. 267–300). Chicago: St. Clair.Google Scholar
  60. Witte, A.D. (1985) The nature and extent of unrecorded activity: A survey concentrating on recent U.S. research. Unpublished manuscript Department of Economics, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA.Google Scholar
  61. Witte, A.D., & Woodbury, D.F. (1985). The effect of tax laws and tax administration on tax compliance: The case of the U.S. individual income tax. National Tax Journal, 38, 1–14.Google Scholar
  62. Yankelovich, Skelly, & White, Inc. (1984). Taxpayer attitudes survey: Final report. Washington DC: IRS.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • John S. Carroll

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations