Why do people pay taxes? The responses offered are many: adherance to the law, afraid of being controlled, belief in the welfare state, getting value for money paid, mirroring other taxpayers or even no choice when returns and tax payments are automated. The issue of tax compliance is of interest not only for tax collecting authorities, but also for welfare states and for authorities enjoying the services. Initiatives to increase compliance come both from tax authorities, from private collaborations as well as from international organizations like the OECD. Increasingly are such initiatives carried out as a combination of technical tools, communication strategies followed by audits, controls and attempts to measure the outcome.

The main objective for this PhD position is to analyse one or several tax compliance initiatives from a qualitative perspective. Choosing such initiatives, the focus in this project is to describe, analyze and evaluate the response amongst stakeholder(s) subject to such initiatives. Analyzing these responses are pivotal because it shows how external stakeholders react and respond to various tax compliance initiatives.

The research will use ethnographic methodologies. The chosen project will draw on two strands of research. It will critically evaluate and contribute to the development of qualitative research within the field of tax compliance. Secondly, the project will be situated in research on values and valuation practices as part of the development and diffusion of technology and/or scientific knowledge in society.

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