Graduation Year

2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Accounting

Major Professor

Jennifer Kahle-Schafer, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Uday Murthy, Ph.D.

Keywords

Use tax, Theory of planned behavior, Tax compliance, State and local taxes, Remedies

Abstract

This study seeks to understand specific factors that are pertinent to individuals when making a use-tax compliance decision and to test a remedy to improve use-tax compliance. This study investigates use-tax compliance using a three-step approach. The first step involved building a survey to determine potential salient beliefs that are pertinent to individuals when facing a use-tax compliance decision. Results of the initial survey reveal that the effort of complying with the use tax, potential revenue to the state if the individual complies, fairness of the use tax, monetary concerns of the individual, perceived knowledge of the use tax, and social influences were the most mentioned factors contributing to individuals when making a use tax compliance decisions. The second step in this study develops a model, based on the Theory of Planned Behavior, incorporating these salient beliefs. Results indicate that most of the salient beliefs identified in the survey were correlated to an individual's attitude. Finally, the third step involved testing two remedies. The first remedy gave the individual the option to have the website automatically collect the use tax due. The second examined remedy provided information to the participant regarding the use tax. Results indicated that the effort remedy developed, having the website give the individual the choice whether the website will automatically collect the tax, does improve the likelihood the individual will comply with the use tax. In addition, results also show compliance improves if participants are given information regarding the use tax.

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