Improving Tax Literacy and Tax Morale in Young People

Authors: Alexander, P., Balavac, M., Mukherjee, S., Massey, D. and Lymer, A.

Start date: 5 September 2018

This research considers socio-demographic influences and the impact enhancements to financial and tax literacy may have on young adults’ tax morale. It also considers the subjects’ perceptions of tax compliance and tax administration. The results show that gender, tax tuition, and employment experience influence tax morale. Most of the 377 students surveyed thought the UK tax system is fair, but complex with personal tax rates that are too high. The majority also believe that a significant number of taxpayers cheat by paying less than they legally owe.

The research shows the positive impact of focused tax tuition on university students in raising financial and tax literacy as well as an appreciation for public finance. While the researchers were unable to conclude enhanced literacy resulted in enhanced tax morale in this study, the results nevertheless demonstrated marginal improvements in this regard, thus warranting further research into causation.

The researchers make several recommendations for further initiatives and enhancements to existing programmes in taxpayer education focused on young people before they leave school and enter the job market.

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