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Projects and activities | Last updated: 21 Jun 2024

Strengthening tax compliance by implementing behavioural insights for revenue administrations in Member States

Context

Non-compliance in paying taxes affects public revenues, trust in governments and perceived levels of fairness. A sizeable amount of unpaid taxes in all Member States is due to lack of voluntary compliance by a significant number of taxpayers liable to pay relatively small amounts of taxes. However, the recovery from those non-compliant debtors creates a high administrative burden for revenue administrations, since it is time- and resource-intensive. To increase rates of voluntary compliance for these taxpayers, some revenue administrations have run behavioural insights (BI)-inspired pilot projects, and have begun to build more expertise in this field.

The Directorate-General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM) provides support for the preparation and implementation of growth-enhancing administrative and structural reforms by mobilising EU funds and technical expertise. Austria, Belgium and Portugal have requested support from DG REFORM through its Technical Support Instrument (TSI)  to strengthen tax compliance by implementing behavioural insights. The main service provider for this project has been selected as a result of a call for tenders.

The JRC, and specifically the CCBI, will help build capacity, contribute to the horizontal coordination (across the TSI projects on BI for the different MSs and within EC services) and provide technical inputs and knowledge on BI to the main service provider and to DG REFORM.

Goals

The project aims at achieving the following specific objectives:

  • To identify relevant BI interventions for each country, based on analyses of their respective current situation, and considering international best practices.
  • To improve the knowledge and capacities of the tax authorities to implement BI interventions for strengthening tax compliance.
  • To implement BI interventions as a pilot, in order to test them in practice and improve the approach based on BI.
  • To increase awareness among key stakeholders and the public of BI tools and of the results derived from their use.
  • To implement a digital dashboard for monitoring the behaviour of different segments of taxpayers and reinforce a customer-oriented approach.

Methods

The project includes, among other, training for capacity building, literature review, quantitative and qualitative analysis of the current situation in the Member States, and field trials for specific behavioural interventions tailored to the needs of the Member States.

Expected outcomes

The expected outcomes of the project are implemented BI approaches and tools for the revenue administrations of Austria, Belgium and Portugal for debt collection, and on-time and correct payments and declarations.

Latest knowledge from this Project