In this study, we explore factors that determine citizens’ tax compliance behavior in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa using attitude and perception data from the new round 5 of Afrobarometer surveys.  The study find some similarities, but also differences in factors that are correlated with tax compliance attitude in the four countries. An increase in the perception of individuals about the difficulty of evading taxes is found to increase the likelihood of tax compliant attitude in Kenya and South Africa. We also find evidence that individuals who are more satisfied with public service provision are more likely to have a tax compliant attitude in all the four countries. However, frequent payment to non-state actors, e.g. to criminal gangs in exchange for protection, reduces individual’s tax compliant attitude. Furthermore, those individuals who perceive that their ethnic group is treated unfairly are less likely to have a tax compliant attitude in Tanzania and South Africa. Tax knowledge is also significantly correlated with tax compliant attitude in Tanzania and South Africa. These findings are robust for different econometric specifications.

 

Merima Ali

Senior Researcher

Odd-Helge Fjeldstad

Research Professor, Coordinator: Tax and Public Finance

See also: