Tax compliance behaviour of Muslim communities in Ireland, Canada, and Scotland
Cheikh El Ghanama, Riad
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The aim of this study is to achieve a better understanding of tax compliance decisions and to identify the factors that impact this decision-making. Adopting a quantitative research approach, this study investigates the role of the issue, moral agent, and environmental characteristics in shaping the three stages of ethical decision making. These are ethical recognition, evaluation and intention. The conceptual model is developed from different disciplines, namely tax compliance, ethical decision-making, and ethics literature. Using a survey containing three different tax compliance scenarios, data was collected from a total of 679 individuals which were mainly Muslims as well as students, and full and part-time employees in three countries: Ireland, Canada, and Scotland. The validity and reliability of the measurement scales were confirmed using exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis and the developed hypotheses were tested using structural equation modelling. The results of this study provide empirical evidence on the importance of moral intensity in assisting taxpayers throughout their tax compliance decisions. Consistent with the majority of empirical studies, the most influential characteristics in predicting and shaping tax compliance decision are the moral agent characteristics (personal norms). Environmental characteristics such as the general societal norms were also very influential in the tax compliance decisions. The results also suggest that the religiosity level of taxpayers has the power to influence the relationships between tax compliance decisions and its determinants by strengthening these relationships. Overall, this study contributes to the literature by providing insights on the process of tax compliance decisions and provides empirical evidence on the applicability of issue-contingent models in relation to tax compliance. A comprehensive research synthesis model was developed in this study to address the calls in the literature for the need to consider the stages of the tax compliance decision process and the factors that impact each of these stages instead of focusing only on the decision outcomes. Finally, this study takes the initiative to investigate the role of the religiosity level in tax compliance behaviour by offering an alternative approach to look at religiosity levels as a moderator variable that has the potential to impact the relationships between tax compliance decisions and the factors that influence these decisions.