Impact of accountability on voluntary tax compliance through influencing taxpayers’ public trust: a case study

Mohammad Reza Sobhkhiz, Ali Mehdizadeh Ashrafi, Toraj Mojibi, Mahmood Otadi


Nowadays, being accountable or having effective accountability mechanisms is essential for success of any organization. This study aims at investigating the impact of tax system’s accountability on improving taxpayers’ voluntary tax compliance in tax offices in Mazandaran province of Iran. In the present study, a mixed research method is employed and as accountability is here taken as ‘responsiveness’, the Delphi technique is first used to identify the legitimate expectations and demands of the taxpayers. In the second step, 4 types of accountability mechanisms are identified as the components of overall accountability. In the third step, using partial least squares path modeling via Smart PLS software, the impact of tax system's accountability on public trust as well as the impact of public trust on voluntary tax compliance is tested. The variables of the research are also analyzed employing one-sample t-test. The obtained results indicate that tax system's accountability affects voluntary tax compliance through affecting taxpayers’ public trust. Furthermore, in the case that the political accountability is not at the optimal level, the optimality of managerial and legal accountability does not have a significant impact on voluntary tax compliance. Finally, it is suggested that in order to achieve an overall accountability, more attention should be paid to the mechanisms of political accountability in the political sector and social accountability in both the political and administrative sectors of the tax system.


Accountability, Public trust, Voluntary tax compliance

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