An application of the Theory of Reasoned Action on Tax Compliance: The Case of Small Business Enterprises in Uganda

Hele tekst

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An application of the Theory of Reasoned Action on

Tax Compliance: The Case of Small Business

Enterprises in Uganda

Masters’ thesis

Msc International Business and Management specializing in International Financial Management (University of Groningen) and Msc in Business and Economics (University

of Uppsala)

Kiconco Rebecca Isabella

kibecky@yahoo.com

Acknowledgement:

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ABSTRACT

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Chapter 1

If the Lord loveth a cheerful giver, how he must hate the taxpayer!

~John Andrew Holmes 1.0 Introduction:

The prevalence of poverty in developing countries demands that these countries should improvise internal revenue generating projects to supplement, and ultimately reduce dependence on foreign donor funding. One such internal revenue-generating mechanism and perhaps the most commonly used, is taxation. Developing countries face formidable challenges in generating tax revenue because the majority of citizens in these countries either engage in subsistence agriculture or in small or informal sectors. Consequently modern means of raising revenue such as income taxes and consumption taxes play a diminishing role, given the nature of Uganda’s economy. Low revenue collections are also attributed to low compliance levels, difficulties in enforcement, political interference, poor revenue management and administration. Tax administration faces a problem of revenue fraud in the form of smuggling, undervaluation, under declaration of income and taxable goods, and misclassification of goods.

The tax evasion rates are high in most economies around the world especially developing countries with Uganda being no exception. Maital (1982) contends that tax evasion falls solidly in the free-rider box. Further he says, the more people seek free rides and evade taxes, the more those who do pay have to fork over and the greater the incentive to evade. Tax compliance reduces government revenues; thus addressing non-compliance problems is central to the development of many developing economies around the world today. The economics of tax compliance has been approached from many perspectives; it has been viewed as a problem of public finance, law enforcement, organizational design, labor supply, or ethics or a combination of these (Andreoni, Erard and Feinstein, 1998). However, in Uganda tax compliance has been mainly investigated and apprehended from a tax administration or tax collector perspective. There are few empirical findings on tax compliance using a taxpayer approach.

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administration. Furthermore SBEs find it easier to slip out of the tax collectors’ net, because the enforcement costs would exceed the potential tax revenue collected from the SBEs (Gauthier and Reinikka, 2001). SBEs find it beneficial to take advantage of loopholes in the tax system in order to minimize their tax payments (Wallace, 2002). As a complex phenomenon, tax non-compliance can be addressed from a variety of perspectives. Taxpayers’ stance is influenced by many factors, including perceived fairness of the taxes, prevailing social norms and morals, complexity of tax laws and regulations, audit rates and penalties. Without questioning the relevance of ethical and sociological motivations, the analysis of compliance has focused on how non-compliance or evasion is deterred through detection and sanctions (Franzoni, 1999), which approach cannot wholly explain non-compliance among taxpayers. Many scholars perceive tax audits as a deterrent to non-compliance.

The foregoing offers an analytical framework for examining some salient aspects of tax compliance in Uganda. To date much of the studies have focused on penalties, audits and fairness as the crucial determinants for non-compliance, but little is understood about the personalities of tax payers. Efforts have to be directed to addresses the psychological and sociological aspects of the tax payers in a bid to improve compliance rather than depending on the economic, legal and tax administrative aspect. Non-compliance is still a complex phenomenon that cannot be eradicated by partial diagnosis of its determinants and ignoring the role of psychology. Psychology plays an important role in compliance, though often ignored by public and tax policy makers.

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engage in a specific behavior are determined by two social cognitive constructs; attitudes and perceived subjective norms, (Ajzen 1991). Intentions then predict actual behavior. In this case, attitude is one’s personal opinion of a behavior and perceived subjective norms refers to how one thinks significant others judge the behavior. TRA posits that attitude and perceived subjective norms predict intended behavior. Previous studies have shown that taxpayers who hold favorable attitudes toward evading taxes as well as taxpayers who perceive evading taxes to be a normative behavior are more likely to evade taxes (see Gilligan and Richardson 2005; Davis et al. 2003; Wenzel 2004).

1.2 Problem statement

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1.3 Research question:

The main research question this study seeks is to explore the extent to which the theory of reasoned action explains variations in tax compliance behavior among small business enterprises in Uganda. The research question is classified under the composition category of Thomas (2008). There are quite many parameters that could explain the tax compliance phenomenon; however, the literature is still incomplete. This study will explore yet another factor categorized broadly as the theory of reasoned action and broken down into attitudes, subjective norms and behavioral intentions.

1.1.3 Sub-questions

1. What is the influence of attitudes and subjective norms of on behavioral intentions of taxpayers (SBEs) in Uganda?

2. What is the influence of behavioral intentions of SBEs on tax compliance in Uganda? 3. What is the influence of subjective norms of SBEs on tax compliance in Uganda? 4. What is the influence of attitudes of SBEs on tax compliance in Uganda?

Sub- questions 3 and 4 will serve to compare the theory of reasoned action explanatory variance to the individual predictors within the theory.

1.4 Significance

The study will extend the application and relevance of the theory of reasoned action to a new arena of tax compliance in Uganda. Prior to this study, the theory of reason action has had few linkages to tax compliance behaviours, especially in developing countries like Uganda. This study goes out to match two areas (psychology and management) divergent and yet commonly bound fields of academic research. Not as much of research has maneuvered these two areas simultaneously so it is a relatively new application.

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Chapter 2

Literature review

2.0 Introduction

This chapter profiles the tax system of small business enterprises in Uganda today as a starting point for investigating the tax compliance of SBEs. It briefly reviews the classical approaches to tax compliance and the literature available on this field. This chapter further gives insight on vast literature of the theory of reasoned action and compiles a conceptual framework that will guide the research. It also extracts research hypotheses for this study.

2.1 Presumptive income tax

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according to the type of measure of income used and their objective. Common measures are production inputs, assets, revenue, and external indicators. Bulutoglu (1995) finds four common targets: hard-to-tax groups, whose income is not easily observable; multinationals with transfer-pricing possibilities; small businesses with high compliance costs; and as pointers of likely tax evaders. As already stated, SBE’s are usually outside the tax net as they are inconspicuous due to being small taxpayers.

According to the Ugandan tax structure a small business enterprise is defined as one with gross turnover of 50 million Uganda shillings or less and are assessed using a presumptive method. (Sserwanga, 2006). Mueller, (ND) asserted that few decisions made by the small businessman have such serious or varied consequences as those related to taxation. Inherent in any system of taxation are the problems of compliance. Further, he states that the heart of the problem for the small businessman it seems is the general lack of knowledge about taxes and the inability to cope with them effectively. Tax compliance was complicated by the general practice of employing public accountants, public bookkeepers, and tax specialists to prepare the accounting records and tax returns. It was common among small businessmen to view the total costs of these services to be the cost of tax compliance. Most small firms lack qualified personnel to perform bookkeeping and tax duties. These duties are generally performed by the overworked owner, a member of the household, or a part-time bookkeeper with little or no formal training. (Nalukenge, 2007)

2.3 Tax compliance

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for example ethics, perceived fairness, social norms and psychological reactance (e.g., Alm, Sanchez, & DeJuan, 1995; Cowell, 1992; Kirchler, 1999; Wenzel, 2002, 2004). Economics researchers studying tax compliance in the United States (U.S.) (see Andreoni et al. 1998) have called for more attention to social (as opposed to economic) influences on tax compliance (Bobek, Roberts and Sweeney, 2007). Economists in particular have focused on the concept of ‘‘social norms’’ (e.g., Alm et al., 1999; Pommerehne et al., 1994; Scholz and Pinney, 1995; Wenzel, 2004). However, most of these economic studies Wenzel, (2004) do not specify precisely what these social norms are instead they model a variable that affects compliance in a manner consistent with a strong effect from some outside social influence. With tax return audit rates continually declining (Schnepper, 2004), a better understanding of this important influence on tax compliance is essential. Baldry (1986) argues that the decision whether or not to evade is influenced by “moral compunctions. Baldry (1987) asserts that experimental findings show the prediction that a taxpayer will not attempt tax evasion, as long as the expected gain is positive, cannot be supported. However, taxpayers may be driven by moral rules and sentiments. A taxpayer might bear moral costs if she/he does not pay the taxes and act as a free-rider. Elffers (2000), attempts to shows that it is a long way before a person becomes a tax evader. He defines three steps in the staircase to tax evasion. First, taxpayers have to be seized by a will not to comply. In a second step, Elffers (2000) argues that not everyone with “an inclination to dodge his taxes is able to translate his intention into action”. Many individuals have not the opportunity or the knowledge and resources to evade. In a third step, you can find individuals that feel inclined not to comply and check for the opportunity to evade taxes. Elffers (2000) further argues that this is the phase where standard economic theory comes into play, where individuals evaluate the expected value of evasion.

2.2 Existing theories on tax compliance

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audit (Allingham and Sandmo 1972). Essentially, this approach builds on Becker’s (1968) rational economic agent approach to crime as a lottery. While this model has been used and modified over the decades to address tax compliance, researchers have long struggled with its major shortcoming; it fails to accurately predict at a macroscopic level the very phenomena it seeks to model. More specifically, this model predicts much lower levels of compliance than actually observed in most industrialized nations.

In addition, two psychological theories that have been broadly discussed in the context of tax compliance are guilt and shame. After reviewing several well-known psychological theories, Erard and Feinstein (1994) adapted guilt and shame to the context of tax compliance. They argue that a taxpayer who is filling out his return is likely to anticipate guilt while contemplating underreporting and escaping detection, but is likely to anticipate shame when contemplating underreporting and subsequently being caught. However there are several draw backs to their approach; first, just how guilt and shame enter the utility function is arbitrary and cannot be derived from economic or psychological theory, second – since guilt and shame are not directly observable, identification is based totally on functional form assumptions.

Furthermore, the game theory approach was also used to explain tax compliance, Game theory helped to create and evaluate an analytic explanation of a particular situation. The strength of game theory is that it makes explicit strategic aspects of social interactions. The logic of game theory helps to simplify the complexity of tax compliance. It outlines the range of choices available to a player. Levi (1997) argues that to understand why one path becomes an equilibrium path, it is important to understand why individuals did not follow other possibilities. She argues that game theory allows specifying the behavior that failed to happen because it is off an equilibrium path (Greenberg, 1984; Graetz et al., 1986; Cowell, 1990; Frey and Holler, 1998; Van Vugt et al., 2000) if a taxpayer does not pay the taxes, public goods will not immediately disappear. Game theory has paid attention to the aspects of cooperation. It helps to think about the interaction between taxpayers themselves and the government or the tax administration in a simple and compelling manner.

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taxpayers’ attitudes. They found a significant explanation of tax non compliance in three different scenarios after a series of experiments. To add to this debate, a more recent and somewhat different approach to the compliance issue, Feld and Frey (2007) argue that tax compliance is the result of a “psychological tax contract” where emotional ties and loyalties bond the taxpayer and state together to create a tax morale that reinforces compliance.

2.5 Psychology in tax compliance;

Trivedi, Shehata and Mestelman, (2005) classified the two classes of theories in their paper as; economics-based theories which emphasize incentives and psychology based theories which emphasize attitudes. Economic theories of compliance suggest that taxpayers make calculations of the economic consequences of different compliance alternatives (such as whether or not to evade tax), the probabilities of detection and the consequences thereof, and then choose the alternative which maximizes their expected after-tax return (possibly after adjustment for the desired level of risk). In contrast, the second class of theories assumes that psychological factors -- including moral and ethical concerns -- are also important to taxpayers, and so taxpayers may comply even where the risk of audit is low. Of course, some taxpayers’ behavior may follow the economic theories while others may follow the psychological theories, and mixtures are also possible.

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More current research has sought to modify the A&S model to incorporate social factors. For example, Traxler (2006) modifies the classic approach to include “tax morale” and interprets this modification as an “internalized social norm” for tax compliance. His results have yield higher levels of compliance given low audit rates. Fiscal psychology has considered the effects of noneconomic variables on tax compliance behavior over a long period of time. In fact, Jackson & Milliron (1986) have identified tax fairness as a key noneconomic variable in this regard. (Richardson, 2006). Recently a new theory has been applied in tax compliance; the theory of reasoned action.

2.6 The theory of reasoned action

In basic terms, the theory of reasoned action (TRA) indicates that a person’s behavior is determined by their attitude towards the outcome of that behavior and by the opinions of the person’s social environment. The TRA is a multi-attribute attitude model that predicts and explains the behavioral intentions and consequent behavior of individuals (Ajzen and Fishbein, 1980). On the whole, this theory explains an individual’s decision to perform or not to perform a specific behavior such as a criminal act, enrolling in graduate school among others. In this study, the application of TRA is being extended to behavioral intentions of small business enterprises’ owners towards tax compliance. The study will focus on the owners or entrepreneurs of the SBEs as they are the decision makers. The theory of reasoned action attempts to model decision processes where people have a high degree of volitional control and make reasoned choices among alternatives. (Omar & Owusu-Frimpong, 2007). Correspondingly, tax compliance of SBEs involves a high degree of volitional control and making reasoned choices among compliance alternatives.

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judgment about whether a specific behavior is desirable or not based on his/her pre-existing beliefs about the desirability of different kinds of behavior. Scholars such as Ajzen and Fishbein (ND) put forth that attitude is best considered to be a person’s degree of favorableness or un-favorableness with respect to a psychological object. Similarly, subjective norm is determined by the beliefs of whether someone important to us expects or does not expect us to perform the behavior, and whether we want to comply (Lin, Chan and Wei, 2006).

Lin et al, (2006) spelt out that TRA is not without its limitations. They stated these as three boundary conditions that can affect the relationship between intention and behavior: (a) the degree to which the measure of intention and the behavior criterion corresponds with respect to the levels of specificity of action, target, context, and time frame; (b) the stability of intentions between time of measurement and performance of the behavior; and (c) the degree to which carrying out the intention is under one’s volitional control (Fishbein & Ajzen 1975). Many researchers in attitudinal research study behavioral intention not under the volitional control (Davis &Warshaw, 1991; Madden, Ellen, & Ajzen, 1992; Sheppard et al., 1988; Warshaw & Droge, 1986). Ajzen (1985) addresses the issue by proposing an extension of the TRA by incorporating perceived behavioral control as an antecedent to behavior intention as well as behavior in a theory called the theory of planned behavior. Below the components of the theory of reasoned action; attitudes, subjective norms and intentions are developed.

2.6.1 Attitudes

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indicators; the prospect of receiving a refund, and of having extra cash consequent to their actions

Chan et al. (2000) found that taxpayer attitude had a positive relationship with tax compliance in both Hong Kong and the U.S. Other studies have found no association between taxpayers’ attitudes and tax compliance behavior (see, Vogel, 1974; Porcano, 1988; Antonides & Robben, 1995). However, as was suggested by Jackson & Milliron (1986) and Richardson & Sawyer (2001), a credible reason for this inconsistency is the multidimensional nature of attitudes as a tax compliance variable (Richardson, 2006). Thus the following hypothesis;

H1 Attitudes influence tax compliance behavioral intention of taxpayers.

2.6.2 Social norms

Torgler & Friedrich (2007) asked an interesting question; How, then, do norms of compliance originate? Sociology stresses that norms are learned through social interaction with others (Williams, 1968; Blau, 1964). The proposition that social norms are influential in tax compliance decisions is consistent with the moral psychology literature (Kohlberg, 1969; Rest, 1986; Bobek, et al, 2007). Social norms are defined as

‘‘rules and standards that are understood by members of a group, and that guide and/or constrain social behavior without the force of law’’ (Cialdini and Trost, 1998). The four categories of social norms identified by Cialdini and Trost are: descriptive norms, injunctive norms, subjective norms, and personal norms. For this study subjective norms are the focus within social norms. According to Bobek et al, (2007), subjective norms relate specifically to the expectations (injunctive norms) of referent others (namely; family, friends, and co-workers). Further they state that the social goal of subjective norms is to represent the injunctive norms of those closest to an individual. Thus they aid in building and maintaining social relationships with people whose opinions matter the most. On the question of when will the norms be influential they asserted that; subjective norms will influence behavior when individuals are motivated to comply with the norms of referent others.

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The violation of social norms has consequences like internal sanctions (guilt, remorse) or external legal and social sanctions as gossip and ostracism. There is evidence that many countries with similar fiscal systems have different compliance experiences (Alm et al., 1995; for the United States see Yankelovich et al., 1984; Vogel, 1974, for Sweden; Smith, 1986; for the United Kingdom and De Juan et al., 1993 for Spain). The main conclusions are that (i) individuals who comply tend to view tax evasion as immoral; (ii) compliance is higher if moral appeals are made to the taxpayer, (iii) individuals with tax evaders among their friends are more likely to be evaders themselves, and (iv) compliance is greater in societies with a stronger sense of social cohesion. Bobek and Hatfield, (2003)

2.6.2.1 Subjective norms:

Ajzen (1991) describes subjective norms as the influence of referent others. Subjective norms refer to a person’s beliefs about whether specific individuals or groups approve or disapprove of the individual performing a specific behavior and to what extent the individual is motivated to conform with other individuals or groups. Hanno and Violette (1996) measured taxpayers’ beliefs about specific referent groups namely; family members, employers, friends and spouse. In addition to the above indicators, Trivedi et al, (2005) added the tax preparer as well as peers of the individual. In a review of factors affecting compliance, Jackson and Milliron (1986) report on numerous studies that find that the compliance behavior of one’s peers is significantly related to an individual’s own level of compliance.

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magnitude of the effect of subjective norms. The influence of subjective norms was much greater than the influence of traditional economic variables on cheating intentions. For purposes of this study subjective norms have been broken down in to injunctive and descriptive norms.

H2 subjective norms influence tax compliance behavioral intentions of taxpayers.

2.6.3 Behavioral intention

Langdridge et al, (2007) Intention summarizes the person’s motivation to perform a behavior and indicates the amount of time and effort that he or she is prepared to devote in order to ensure that an action is undertaken (Ajzen, 1991). Intention is determined by three constructs: attitude and subjective norm and perceived behavioral control (PBC).

Attitude is the person’s overall evaluation of what it would be like to perform a behavior

(e.g., “Having a child at some time in the future would be good/ bad) PBC is a concept of self-efficacy and refers to people’s appraisals of the ease or difficulty of performing the behavior (e.g., “Having a child at some time in the future would be easy/difficult”). PBC can also influence intention because people are unlikely to intend to perform behaviours over which they have little control. Trivedi et al (2005) employed two variables in respect to behavioral intention; monetary Intent to Comply being significant.

The problematic nature of this variable is that subjects are hesitant to admit to unethical and illegal behavior (Wenzel, 2004), potentially contributing to the relatively low significance levels of most compliance models. Bobek et al, (2007) In the present study, consideration will be made to taxpayers’ compliance intentions, rather than requesting subjects to reveal their actual tax compliance behavior just as in the study of Bobek et al, (2007) Behavioral intentions have been shown to be highly correlated with actual behavior (Ajzen, 1991).

H3 taxpayers’ behavioral intentions influence their tax compliance behavior.

2.7 Conceptual framework

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Source: Martin Fishbein and Icek Ajzen, 1975; 1980; Lin et al, 2006; Omar & Owusu-Frimpong, 2007; Bobek and Hatfield,

2003; Meints and Roberts, 2009 and extant literature.

There are many factors that could possibly explain tax compliance as indicated (penalties, audits, fairness, social norms and government responsiveness) that have been derived from existing literature above. However for purposes of this study we are confined to attitudes, subjective norms and behavioral intention of SBEs.

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Chapter 3

Methodology

3.0 Introduction

This chapter elaborates how the study was designed and accomplished. It provides an account of the research design, measurement of variables, study population, sampling design, unit of analyses, data collection methods, processing and analysis of the data.

3.1 Research Design

A cross sectional survey design was adopted for this study. In a cross-sectional study, a particular phenomenon is studied at a particular period of time. Cross sectional designs are suited for studies aimed at finding out the prevalence of a phenomenon, situation, problem or attitude, by taking a cross-section of the population at a given time. Cross-sectional studies are relatively inexpensive, quick and easy to do, useful for generating and clarifying hypothesis and can lay the ground work for decisions about future follow up studies (Kraemer, 1994).

3.2 Survey population

The population consisted of SBEs operating in Kampala District. Responses were obtained from the following tax districts, i.e. Rubaga, Makindye, Bwaise, and Nakawa. According to Uganda Revenue Authority records, there are about 208,500 SBEs, in the above tax districts. For purposes of this study, SBEs had an annual turnover of less than fifty million Uganda shillings. (Hereby, defined as the qualifying factor of SBEs according to Uganda’s tax structure). This included those, which use the presumptive tax method, those small business enterprises which opted to use the conventional tax method and those small business enterprises barred from using the presumptive method. (such as small law firms, private health clinics, and audit firms). SBEs which voluntarily use the conventional tax method are those who are charged 30% corporate tax and keep proper books of accounts, despite being small business enterprises.

3.3 Sampling and Sample size

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minimum sample sizes required from different sizes of the population at 95% confidence level. They suggest a sample size of 384 respondents for populations between 100,000 and 1,000,000. Therefore given a population of 208,500 SBEs, in the above regions, a sample size of 384 was recommended for this study. Using the average response rate (90%), for previous empirical studies carried out in Uganda on the small-scale enterprises (Sserwanga 2002) the sample size was raised to 426 elements to carter for possible non-responses. This was calculated as follows:

90X /100 =384 90X = 38,400 X =38400/90

X = 426

Where X represents the sample size

Given a high mortality rate of SBEs, plus the fact that SBEs that are not registered for tax purposes are not known with certainty, purposive sampling was used to select a representative sample. All respondents were given a small symbolic gift for their participation.

3.4 Methods of Data Collection

A cross-sectional survey targeting different categories of SBEs was carried out using interviewer-administered, structured questionnaires. The questionnaire consisted of mainly closed-ended questions using Likert scales. Few open-ended questions were included in the questionnaire to ensure response clarity and consistence. The questionnaires were prepared in English but later translated into local languages for non-English speaking respondents.

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3.5 Measurement of variables:

In combination, attitude toward the behavior and subjective norms lead to the formation of a behavioural intention. As a general rule, the more favourable the attitude and subjective norm, the stronger should be the person’s intention to perform the behavior in question.

3.5.1 Measurement of Behavior

According to Ajzen (2006), behavior of interest is defined in terms of its Target, Action, Context, and Time (TACT) elements. In this case - SBEs paying their taxes in full and

promptly to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) at the end of the financial year. Defining the TACT

elements is somewhat arbitrary. Paying is clearly part of the action element. The URA considered the target and in full the context, the time element referred when the behavior was performed, and in this example it is defined as at the end of the financial year. In Uganda’s case this is the end of June of any given year. The financial year runs from 1st

July to 30th June.

Compatibility;

No matter how the TACT elements of the behavior are defined, it is important to observe the principle of compatibility which requires that all other constructs (attitude, subjective norm, and intention) be defined in terms of exactly the same elements. Thus, the attitude compatible with this behavior was the attitude toward paying taxes in full and

promptly to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) at the end of the financial year, the subjective norm

was the perceived social pressure to do so. Attitude, subjective norm, and intention were assessed directly by means of standard scaling procedures. When developing the scales, the measures were directly compatible with the behavior in terms of action, target, context, and time elements.

3.5.2 Measurement of Intention:

A seven point likert scale ranging from extremely likely – extremely unlikely was used to assess behavioural intention. The statement read as follows;

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Extremely unlikely: _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____: extremely likely

3.5.3 Measurement of attitude towards behavior:

The criterion for item selection has to do with the qualitative aspects of evaluation represented by the adjective scales. Attitude toward a behavior was defined as a person’s overall evaluation of performing the behavior in question. However, empirical research has shown that overall evaluation often contains two separable components. One component is instrumental in nature, represented by such adjective pairs as valuable —

worthless, and harmful —beneficial. The second component has a more experiential quality

and is reflected in such scales as pleasant — unpleasant and enjoyable — un-enjoyable. The study used the former scale as it is more applicable given the nature of the study. The measures took the following form as the owner of the SBE responding;

For me, paying taxes in full and promptly to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) at the end of the financial year is

Good: _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____: bad

3.5.4 Measurement of subjective norms:

Several questions were formulated depending on the social environment of the SBEs and thus questions were formed given the answers provided as to whose opinions they value. These included; spouses, family, friends, and fellow SBE owners among others. They took the following format.

The people in my life whose opinions I value would

Approve: _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____: disapprove

Of my paying taxes in full and promptly to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) at the end of the financial year

However, responses to such items were often found to have low variability because important others were generally perceived to approve of desirable behaviours and disapprove of undesirable behaviours. To alleviate this problem, it was recommended that the initial set of items also include questions designed to capture descriptive norms, i.e., whether important others themselves performed the behavior in question. This study captured this aspect by posing the following types of questions.

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Completely true: _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____: completely false

Many people like me pay their taxes in full and promptly to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) at the end of the financial year

Extremely unlikely: _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____: extremely likely

3.5.5 Measurement of tax compliance behavior

Tax compliance was measured basing on the four items from Wenzel, (2001) which include; lodgments, tax arrears, pay income and promptness. To establish non-lodgment; respondents were asked if they had made attempts to avoid taxes by not declaring at all. Tax arrears was measured by inquiring from the respondent if they had any outstanding taxes un paid, while pay income; as measured by establishing whether the respondent had attempted to under declare taxes. Lastly promptness was measure by inquiring from the respondents if they had ever delayed to pay taxes beyond the stipulated time.

3.6 Demographic and practice related control variables:

In addition, we control for demographic factors such as age, gender, education, marital status. As regards age, we assume that older people who have acquired more social capital (Tittle, 1980; Hanno & Violette, 1996) may feel a stronger attachment to the community, which might in turn induce additional restrictions that lead to a positive correlation between age and tax compliance behavior. (Pommerehne and Weck- Hannemann, 1996). Tittle (1980) observed that younger taxpayers were more risk-seeking, were less sensitive to penalties, and also reflected the social and psychological differences related to the period in which they were raised. (Richardson, 2006) Prior studies have found a positive association between age and tax compliance behavior (e.g., Vogel, 1974; Tittle, 1980). Gender is another important variable Moreover, not only has social psychological research suggested that women are more compliant and less self-reliant than men (e.g., Tittle, 1980).

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important elements: the general degree of fiscal knowledge, and the specific degree of knowledge regarding tax evasion opportunities. They argue that enhancing the level of general fiscal knowledge improves tax compliance by means of more positive perceptions of taxation, while increased knowledge of tax evasion opportunities has a negative influence on tax compliance as it assists noncompliance.

3.7 Data Processing 3.7.1 Normality:

A total of 400 questionnaires were collected of data to be analyzed. The data collected was coded, and analyzed using of the SPSS 17.0 statistical package. Time and effort was dedicated to data cleaning in order to minimize errors in the data. After controlling for outliers, data based on 394 respondents was used. Despite the fact that almost all the scales used in this research are adapted from earlier works, with high reliability and validate rankings, these scales were tested for reliability, because they were applied a new environment, where they have never been used. First the data was tested for normality using histograms and the Q-Q Plots (See appendix II). Kolmogorov-Smirnov and the Shapiro-Wilk tests were used to check whether the distribution as a whole deviates from a comparable normal distribution. The non-significance level being P>0.05 implying the distribution of the sample is not significantly different from a normal distribution and therefore probably normal. Results are below. The results show a probable normal distribution.

Table: 1

Kolmogorov-Smirnov and the Shapiro-Wilk test Tests of Normality

Kolmogorov-Smirnova Shapiro-Wilk

Variable df Sig. Variable df Sig.

Attitudes 400 .000 Attitudes 400 .000 Subjective norms 400 .021 Subjective norms 400 .044 Intentions 400 .000 Intentions 400 .000 Tax compliance 400 .000 Tax compliance 400 .000 a. Lilliefors Significance Correction

3.7.2 Reliability test

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consistently reflect the construct that it is measuring. One of the most commonly used indicators of internal consistency is Cronbach’s alpha co-efficient. Kline (1999) notes that although the generally accepted value is 0.8 for cognitive tests, ability tests have a cut-off point of 0.7. He goes on to say that when dealing with psychological constructs; values below even 0.7 can realistically be expected because of the diversity of the constructs being measured. However Cortina (1993) notes that the value of alpha depends on the number of items on the scale as the top half of the alpha equation includes the number of items squared. With the above in mind, the researcher followed Pallant, (2005) assertion that short scales with around ten items, can have low Cronbach’s alpha values from 0.5.

The negatively worded questions (ATT; 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and INT; 3, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12- see appendix III)’s scales were reversed before checking the reliability, (scales 1-7 were changed to 7-1 in the reverse order) in order to reduce response bias. Further the Cronbach’s alpha when item deleted was employed and deleted the following items from the scales. On the scale of attitudes, items 3, 11 and 13 were deleted. On the intentions scale, items 5, 6, 10 and 12 were deleted. Whereas on the subjective and descriptive scales none of the items was deleted, on the tax compliance scale, 1, 6, 8 and 11 had to be deleted. (See appendix III) The reasons for eliminating these items could include reasons such as; they are factual, they are evaluatively ambiguous or they were irrelevant as indicated by failure to correlate with the total scale score. The Cronbach’s alpha is thus reflected in table 2.

Table 2:

Reliability test statistics

Variable Cronbach’s

alpha Cronbach’s alpha based on standardized items No of items

Attitudes 0.625 0.639 10

Subjective norms 0.769 0.760 5

Intentions 0.614 0.664 8

Descriptive norms 0.620 0.628 5

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Chapter Four

Results

4.0 Introduction

This chapter presents the study findings. First, the researcher presents a description statistics of the small business taxpayers in the sample. The second part comprises of explanatory component of the study. In this section we present the results of the correlation and regression analysis. In this analysis we test the hypotheses as stated in Chapter 2.The Pearson coefficient was used to determine the correlation between the TRA variables. For objective 1 of the study, a model employing hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis was used to assess the influence of attitudes and subjective norms on behavioural intention of SBEs taxpayers in Uganda. In this model, measures of attitude and subjective norm served as the independent variables, with intention being the dependent variable.

The second objective was also analysed using a simple linear regression to assess the influence of behavioural intentions of SBEs on tax compliance in Uganda. In this model, behavioural intentions are the independent variable and tax compliance behaviour is the dependent. To further analyze the data, the researcher constructed two more simple linear regressions, one having attitudes as the independent variable and tax compliance behaviour as the dependent and the second having subjective norms as the independent and the former as the dependent. This was to assess the extent of the relevance of the theory to explain tax compliance behaviour in comparison to the two individual measurements of attitudes and subjective norms.

4.0 Descriptive statistics 4.1.1 Sample characteristics

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respondents are in the 26-35 yeas age brackets and about 86% of the entrepreneurs were 45 years or younger. About 47% of the respondents were married and another sizeable category 31% of the respondents were single as exhibited in table 3.

By and large, the majority (about 94%) of the respondents in this sample had received some formal education, while about 6% of the respondents had never received any form of education; this implies that on the whole, the majority of the entrepreneurs in this sample were educated.

Table 3

Demographic related characteristics of respondents

Characteristic Small Business Enterprises

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Despite the fact that our population consisted of small business enterprises, we went further to profile the respondents according to size using their annual turnover. We used the annual turnover, because it’s the basis for levying taxes from small business enterprises. The very Small business enterprises with an annual turnover between 500,000 and - 5,000,000 Uganda shillings (1 Euro approximately = 2700 Uganda Shillings) dominated the sample (62%) and about 4.3% of the respondents could not tell their annual turnover because they did not have any business records.

In Uganda, tax payers are required by law to file a self-assessment tax return annually. Respondents were asked to indicate the number years in which they ha filed a self-assessment tax return. The majority of the respondents (45.25%) had never filed a self-assessment tax return with the Uganda Revenue Authority, the tax collection body. For the respondents who file self assessment tax returns with Uganda Revenue Authority, we also interested to know who prepares their tax returns. As exhibited below, the majority of the respondents (89.2%) prepared their own tax returns, while about 10.8% of the respondents hire tax experts to prepare the tax returns.

Table 4

Practice related characteristics of respondents

Characteristics Small Business enterprises

Size of the enterprise (UGX)

500,000-5,000,000 (%) 247(61.8) 5,000,001-25,000,000 (%) 109(27.3) 25,000,000-50,000,001 (%) 27(6.8) Do not know (%) 17(4.3)

Longevity of filing tax returns

Never filed (%) 181(45.3) 1-5 yrs (%) 141(35.3) 6-10yrs (%) 47(11.8) 11-15yrs (%) 17(4.3) 16-20yrs (%) 10(2.5) More than 20yrs (%) 4(1.0)

Tax return preparation

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4.1.2 Descriptive statistics for theory variables

Table 5 summarizes the means and standards deviation of the TRA variables. The mean behavioural intention score was 5.36 (SD±0.804), scores here ranged from 3.55 – 6.49. The mean score of the measure of attitudes was 3.96 (SD±0.924) and interestingly both the highest and lowest mean scores 1.95 and 5.57 had the lowest standard deviation. For subjective norms the mean score was 3.75 (SD±0.637) ranging from 2.36 to 5.02. The mean response to the tax compliance behavior was 2.61 (SD±0.777), reflected by the mean range of 1.74-3.75. (See Appendix 1)

Table 5:

Descriptive statistics for the theory of reasoned action variables

Variable Mean Std. Deviation

Attitudes 3.98 0.924

Intentions 5.36 0.805

Tax compliance behavior 2.61 0.777 Subjective norms 3.75 0.637

4.1.3 Correlations:

All correlations between the theory variables were significant (P<0.01). Table 6 describes the correlation between the theory variables. Attitudes were negatively correlated with intentions, subjective norms (r=-0.319, r=-0.111, all at P<0.01) respectively, positively correlated with tax compliance (r=0.143, at P<0.01). There was a significant negative correlation between the intention and tax compliance (r=-0.373, at P<0.01 respectively) and a significant positive correlation with subjective norms (r=0.199 at P<0.01).

Table 6

Correlation among the theory of reasoned action variables

Variable 1 2 3 4

1. Attitudes - -0.319** 0.143** -0.111*

2. Intentions - -0.373** 0.199**

3.Taxcompliance - -0.179**

4. Subjective norms

-**. Correlations are significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

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problem (Field, 2005). To control for such third variable problems, one needs to perform regression analysis.

4.1.4 Objective 1: Predictors of Intention

A multiple regression model I was constructed to assess the ability of attitude and subjective norms to predict intention. Table 7 describes the results of the regression analyses. In this model, the utility of the TRA variables in explaining SBEs intention to pay or not pay their taxes was determined using the above constructs. As can be seen, a significant model emerged (β= -0.216, p < .001) for measure of attitudes and (β = 0.248, p < .001) for the measure of subjective norms. Adjusted R square is 0.107 or 10.7%, therefore attitudes and subjective norms account for 10.7% change in tax payers intentions to comply with tax laws and regulations, note however that both are predictors are significant. The question here is how much unique explanatory variance is attributable to each of the predictors? The shared prediction is accounted for in the difference between the adjusted r square and the r square (.112 – 107). The multiple regressions show that subjective norms provide a larger independent contribution to the prediction of intentions than attitudes. This is reflected in the betas.

Table 7

Regression results

Predictors’ Unstandardized

Coefficients (β) Standard error Sig (p) Model I (R square = .112) (Adjusted r sq =.107) Attitudes -0.216* 0.040 .000 Subjective norms 0.248* 0.056 .000 *P < .001

Dependent variable; intentions

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4.1.5 Objective 2: Predictor of tax compliance

In this second step of the analysis, the aim is to explain tax compliance behavior among small business enterprises. In line with the theory of reasoned action, at this level, the researcher used intentions to predict tax compliance and therefore this model II employs a simple linear regression. The dependent variable in this case is tax compliance behavior and the independent being intentions this time. This model was also statistically significant (β = -0.412, p < .001) for the measure of intentions. This model explained 15.9% (adjusted r square) of the variance in tax compliance behavior. Results are displayed in table 8.

Table 8

Predictor Unstandardized

Coefficients (β) Standard error Sig (p) Model II

(R square = .161) (Adjusted r sq =.159)

Intentions -0.412* 0.048 .000

*P < .001

Dependent variable; tax compliance Independent variable; intentions

4.1.6 Supplement analyses Objective 3 & 4:

Subjective norms and Attitudes predicting tax compliance independently.

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explaining tax compliance behavior (Supplement analysis). The results for models III and IV are reflected in table 9.

Table 9

Predictor Unstandardized

Coefficients (β) Standard error Sig (p) Model III (R square = .038) (Adjusted r sq =.035) Subjective norms -0.234* .060 .000 Model IV (R square = .019) (Adjusted r sq =.017) Attitudes 0.119 .043 .006 *P < .001

Dependent variable; tax compliance

Independent variables; subjective norms (model III); attitudes (model IV)

The table below shows the contribution of the control variables in explaining tax compliance. As can been seen only one of the predictors is significant. It is also quite interesting. This is marital status. This means marital status can determine whether SBE owners take the risk to evade taxes

Table 10

Regression results for control variables

Predictor Unstandardized

Coefficients (β) standard error sig (p)

Age -.011 .004 .013 Marital status .161* .044 .000 Gender .101 .072 .164 Highest level of education -.029 .019 .136 Gross turnover Income -.017 .063 .788 *P < .001

Dependent variable; tax compliance

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Chapter five

Discussion of findings

5.0 Introduction: An Overview of Work Done

The major objective of this study was to investigate the extent to which the theory of reasoned action explains variations in tax compliance behavior among small business enterprises in Uganda. In this study, a distinction was made between the components of the theory of reasoned action and general factors within the theory that have been used in literature to explain tax compliance before. TRA variables included; attitudes, subjective norms, behavioral intentions and tax compliance behavior. Employing hierarchical multiple regression as well as simple linear regression, the study predicted the extent to which the theory (TRA) explains variance in tax compliance behavior. Further supplementary analysis was made to compare the explanatory variance difference of tax compliance between the TRA and individual predictors of attitudes and subjective norms.

5.1 Discussion of Results

The findings discussed in this chapter are presented in Chapter four, starting with the descriptive statistics, correlations, multiple regression analysis and finally the simple linear regressions. The main objective of this chapter is to attach meaning to the study findings within the study context and tax compliance behavioral literature.

5.1.1 Sample characteristics

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turnover. The findings are consistent with the findings of Sserwanga (2010), whose sample of entrepreneurs in Uganda consisted of 64% micro enterprises he makes a similar conclusion with about of the enterprises in his sample labeled. It’s important to note that Sserwanga (2010) used the number of persons employed, while this study based annual turnover to measure firm size, coming up with consistent results. In addition Snyder (2000) used number of employees to classify Ugandan firms into respective sizes and came to a similar conclusion about small and medium enterprises, labeling them vibrant, fragile and underdeveloped.

5.2 Hypothesis

The tax compliance prediction models disclose both varied and interesting results about the hypotheses developed in Chapter two. The statistical analysis in the paper mostly confirmed the theory. The theory was particularly effective in explaining actual compliance behavior. The theory of reasoned action explains about 10.7% of the variation in tax compliance in Uganda SBEs. It is therefore important to note however that there are other factors that explain 89.3% (i.e. the difference between 100% and what TRA explains) tax compliance. These factors are likely to include; audit rates, penalties, tax compliance costs, tax payer ethics, tax fairness, and social norms among others (Alm, Sanchez, and DeJuan, 1995; Cowell, 1992; Kirchler, 1999; Wenzel, 2002, 2004).

5.2.1 H1 - tax payers’ attitudes influence their tax compliance behavioral

intention

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The interesting question here would be why do SBEs have a negative attitude towards paying tax? During the interviews conducted, the SBE owners by and large said that the government is corrupt and therefore they see no need why they should pay more taxes and yet they don’t benefit from them. This shows that taxpayers are normally sensitive to the way government uses tax revenues. Taxes are supposed to be used to construct infrastructure and provide social services to the public however, the SBEs do not see the results of their efforts to pay tax. Taxes therefore paid by individuals can be interpreted as the price paid for governments’ positive action. literature and empirical findings attest to this when Cummings, Martinez-Vazquez, McKee and Torgler, (2004) found in South Africa and Botswana that perceptions of the government as being corrupt will reduce the willingness to comply with taxes. A higher trust of the population might tend to increase taxpayers positive attitudes and commitment to the tax payment which finally has a positive effect on tax compliance. (Smith, 1992) Another reason could be the wide spread tax evasion evident in the country. Literature explains this as; people who believe that tax cheating is wide-spread among their peers or colleagues tend to have more favourable attitudes towards tax evasion and are more likely to cheat on taxes (See De Juan, Lasheras, & Mayo, 1994; Kaplan & Reckers, 1985; Wallschutzky, 1984; Webley, Robben, & Morris, 1988).

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their tax but subjective norms are also the bigger psychological consideration than personal beliefs or attitudes.

Existing literature further indicates that to stimulate behavioural intention, a favourable attitude needs to be formed. The more favourable is the attitude, the stronger is the behavioural intention, and the more likely is the performance of the behavior. (Ramayah, Rouibah, Gopi and Rangel, 2009) This could explain further why the regression results reflect a negative relationship between intention and tax compliance. It could have originated from the influence of the negative relationship with attitudes. We should also bear in mind that all the theory of reasoned action variables are not dichotomous; generally we deduce from the findings that intentions too have a negative relationship with tax compliance. This will be explained further in the discussion.

5.2.2 H2 - taxpayers’ subjective norms influence their tax compliance behavioral intentions

The model I multiple regression in the preceding chapter established that subjective norms do influence tax compliance behavioral intentions. To add to this, a significant positive correlation of .199 resulted between subjective norms with behavioral intentions. This means that a positive change in subjective norms will result in a positive change in tax compliance behavioral intentions. This was further reflected in a positive β of 0.248, meaning that a percentage increase in subjective norms will lead to a 24.8% increase in tax compliance behavioral intentions. Note however, the dichotomous nature of the subjective norm variable. This means that generally, Ugandan SBEs owners’ families, friends, peers and other parameters in their social environment influence them positively to intend to pay their taxes.

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and laws? This could be attributed to the cultural set up of Uganda. Uganda is generally has a communal background, generally collective in nature, where people live in societies from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups, often extended families which continue protecting them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty. So positive influence from the society members are reflected by individuals. Thus in Uganda, society influences SBEs positively in terms of intentions to comply with the tax laws. This study will add to the not so vast literature on subjective norms and tax compliance as it broke them down to injunctive and descriptive.

5.2.3 H3 taxpayers’ behavioral intentions influence their tax compliance behavior

Eagly and Chaiken (1993), said that the fact that I am capable of performing a behavior does not necessarily, imply that I will do it. To put it in another way; the fact that one intends to do something doesn’t imply that they will do it. This will be reflected in the discussion below about tax compliance of SBEs in the Ugandan context.

Hypothesis 3 was confirmed by our results. Behavioral intentions influence tax compliance behavior of SBEs. A negative correlation was found between the two variables, it was significant and further reflected in the regression by the β of 0.401. This implies that a positive change in intentions leads to negative change in tax compliance behavior. Recollect the dichotomous nature of our variables, a percentage increase in behavioral intentions will lead to a 40.1% reduction in tax compliance. This is an interesting finding for Uganda Revenue Authority and for research purposes. The above finding implies that on the whole, Ugandan SBEs owners don’t intend to comply with tax regulations and laws. Applicable reasons here could be ones mentioned before that have to do with SBE owners’ attitudes in general. As was already mentioned, the more favourable the attitude is, the stronger the behavioural intention, and the more likely the performance of the behavior. (Ramayah, Rouibah, Gopi and Rangel, 2009), and the reverse could apply in Uganda’s situation.

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Martinez-Vazquez, McKee and Torgler, 2004), audit rates, penalties, fairness, tax and admistration, among others (Alm, Sanchez, & DeJuan, 1995; Cowell, 1992; Kirchler, 1999; Wenzel, 2002, 2004). These would provide a more interesting study if combined. 5.3 Supplementary analysis:

This part of discussion will focus on objectives 3 and 4 of the preceding chapter. The researcher included this part of the study to establish whether attitudes or subjective norms could individually explain tax compliance better than the theory of reasoned action. As can be inferred from the table 9, attitudes explain 1.7% of variance in tax compliance behavior. Another interesting and yet unexpected finding given the above discussion was that attitudes scored a positive β of 0.119. This implies that a percentage increase in attitudes will lead to a 11.9% increase in tax compliance; therefore generally Ugandan SBEs have positive attitudes towards tax compliance. Thus independently, without the theory of reasoned action, attitudes of SBEs towards tax are positive.

The subjective norms could explain only 3.5% of the variance in tax compliance. Interestingly and also unexpectedly, subjective norms have a negative influence on tax compliance of SBEs in Uganda. This is reflected by the β coefficient of 0.234, therefore a percentage increase in subjective norms will lead to a 23.4% drop in tax compliance of SBEs. This implies that Ugandan SBEs are influenced negatively by subjective norms when complying with tax regulations and laws. Note however that the theory doesn’t examine attitudes or subjective norms towards tax compliance directly but uses the intervening variable of intentions.

So the framework comes out as follows after the analysis.

Attitudes

Subjective norms

Intentions complianceTax

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Chapter Six

Conclusions and recommendations

6.0 Introduction

The major objective of this study was to investigate the extent to which the theory of reasoned action can explain variance in tax compliance behavior among SBEs in Uganda. This objective was further broken down into four sub questions; the influence of attitudes and subjective norms of on behavioral intentions of taxpayers (SBEs) in Uganda; the influence of behavioral intentions of SBEs on tax compliance in Uganda; the influence of subjective norms of SBEs on tax compliance in Uganda and finally; the influence of attitudes of SBEs on tax compliance in Uganda. The study was grounded in the theory of reasoned action and supplementary analysis was done on exterior the theory.

6.1 Conclusion

The study established that the theory of reasoned action indeed provides insight on the tax compliance behavior of SBEs. Not only did the study ascertain the extent to which TRA influences tax compliance but also ascertained the kind of relationship/ influence it has on tax compliance behavior of SBEs in Uganda. The findings provide evidence for the negative attitudes SBEs have on intentions to comply with tax regulations and the extent to which these attitudes can affect SBEs behavior. Further the findings also illustrated that subjective norms influence SBEs tax compliance intentions in a positive manner. However the over all appearance of these intentions lead to a negative effect on tax compliance behavior of these SBEs. Thus on the whole, SBEs appear not to intend to pay their taxes. Possible reasons were also explained in chapter five as to why these results would appear so. Subsequent analysis exterior of TRA however provided surprising results by SBEs having positive attitudes towards paying their taxes as well as being influenced negatively by subjective norms.

6.2 Implications and Recommendations

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6.2.1 Theoretical implications

The theory of reasoned action has been used to explain behavior in numerous situations in psychology. This study has used this theory not only in a new setting but also in a new geographical, economic and administrative setting; Uganda. Therefore this implies that not only is this theory relevant in explaining psychological social issues but it is also relevant in explaining economic behavior of individuals namely; tax compliance. In addition this theory has provided an explanatory difference in its individual predictors (attitudes and subjective norms) and the structural predictors of the theory (attitudes and subjective norms leading to intentions and intentions leading to behavior). This difference thus creates a lacuna in research that is worth exploring. So the question that would arise is where does this difference come from and why? A recommendation here would be a broader study into this area to answer the above questions.

6.2.2 Policy implications:

The research was carried out with certain audiences in mind; academicians, the Uganda Revenue Authority, and general audiences interested in tax compliance issues, prior to this study, none of the above predictors were used in assessing the tax environment in Uganda. It has been established that generally SBEs don’t intend to pay their taxes. This could have been an influence of the negative attitudes they have. The researcher recommends that attitudes of SBEs should be taken as a serious consideration in tax administration. Tax administration should come up with policy measure that will improve the SBES intentions to apply tax SBEs make up the biggest population of businesses in Uganda and though they don’t contribute the biggest percentage of taxes, if they indeed refrained from paying their taxes, the effect would be felt by the economy at large. This would fall to the URA to establish why attitudes of SBEs are negative.

6.3 Areas for further research

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investigate if the revised theory can explain tax compliance behavior better compared to the TRA. This would be a comprehensive study and since the data for the second part of that study is already available in this report, it would be simpler to add to the debate a comparison between the two theories.

The findings from this study are interconnected with each other but give different views on attitudes and subjective norms. A more comprehensive study about attitudes and subjective norms in relation to tax compliance in Uganda would be appropriate in this instance and gain insight on what drives attitudes and subjective norms. The core essence of the two predictors would be the starting point to renew/ revise the tax system for better enforcement. This research would facilitate tax administration in Uganda in a large way.

While carrying out the study, the researcher got into contact with colleagues who were investigating an interesting problem that could be a challenge especially in developing countries like Uganda. This is the “free rider problem”. This is a problem in Africa on issues such as resources and issues that have to do with an individual being a recipient. However this particular “tax free rider problem” has to do with individuals requesting the authorities to levy taxes on them so that they eradicate the free riders from the society. It would be fascinating to find out if this kind of problem can arise in Ugandan tax compliance issues.

A further additional study that could be intriguing would be to compare the effect of attitudes and subjective norms on tax compliance between developed and developing countries. The developed countries have vast literature on tax compliance in existence as compared to matters/issues that arise from developing countries. A boost to the research gap especially in Africa can be filled by such a variety of studies.

6.4 limitations to the study

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explain tax compliance behavior. The application of the theory of planned behavior to explain tax compliance is suggested for future research.

As no research is perfect some limitations may arise; the theory at large has been used in association with consumer behavior and thus this new application to tax compliance is unique so it raises questions of generalizing the findings. Out of the 426 questionnaires the researcher was supposed to collect, 400 were collected, and 394 were good for usage in analysis. However this still cant be a reason not to generalize the findings to Uganda, but this was a capital city population and therefore the findings cant be generalized to Uganda as a whole and therefore on a larger scale not even to developing countries. Ajzen revised methodological considerations for this kind of study recommended a pilot study before collecting actual data. Due to time constraints it was not possible to do a pilot study to establish the drivers of attitudes and therefore a former study questionnaire was used and adopted for the study. A further constraint in this was it was used in Canada and therefore may have not been the best in a Ugandan case and may have affected the quality of data collected, though given the reliability tests we were able to get usable data.

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