Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Ambivalent Tax Morale Building In China

Huina Xiao (Macau; Google Scholar), Ambivalent Tax Morale Building in China, 20 China: An Int'l J. __ (2022):

This study examines the measures taken in China over the last four decades which aim to encourage taxpayer compliance through building a tax morale—fairness, equity and reciprocity—between the government and citizens. The process is referred to as ‘ambivalent tax morale building’, characterised as the state’s contradictions and conflicting aspirations in tax governance. The ambivalence is driven by the party’s goals of maintaining both party legitimacy and monopoly, as well as a lack of state capacity. 

Tax morale building thus has outcomes that counter each other. The notion of ‘ambivalent tax morale building’ explains the limited effects of tax governance in China. While it allows the state to collect tax revenue to maintain party legitimacy, it does not help to promote voluntary compliance.

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