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Tax compliance of small and medium enterprises: a developing country perspective

Doreen Musimenta (Department of Accounting, Makerere University Business School, Kampala, Uganda)
Stephen Korutaro Nkundabanyanga (Department of Accounting, Makerere University Business School, Kampala, Uganda)
Moses Muhwezi (Department of Procurement and Logistics Management, Makerere University Business School, Kampala, Uganda)
Brenda Akankunda (Department of Accounting, Makerere University Business School, Kampala, Uganda)
Irene Nalukenge (Makerere University Business School, Kampala, Uganda)

Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance

ISSN: 1358-1988

Article publication date: 8 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to establish the relationship between tax fairness, isomorphic forces, strategic responses and tax compliance in Ugandan small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Design/methodology/approach

This is a correlational and cross-sectional study using two respondent types, the demand (represented by the tax collecting body respondents) and supply (represented by SME respondents) sides of tax compliance, to examine perceived tax compliance in Uganda’s SMEs.

Findings

Tax fairness, isomorphic forces and strategic responses have a predictive force on tax compliance. Significant mediation effects of tax fairness and also strategic responses are found. The two respondent types perceive the study variables differently – providing an understanding of why the tax compliance puzzle has remained a burgeoning concern. For example, the tax-collecting body respondents perceived more tax fairness than SME respondents, suggesting that perceived tax fairness depends on whose “lenses” you look through.

Research limitations/implications

Rather than focussing only on the importance of the rational analytical deliberation of tax fairness by taxpayers in influencing their tax compliance, the current paper shows that in addition, isomorphic forces and strategic responses establish the basis for understanding taxpayers’ compliance.

Originality/value

The methodology that enlists two respondent types, i.e. the supply side of tax compliance and the demand side of tax compliance, probably offers a unique way of deriving better results than previous studies.

Keywords

Citation

Musimenta, D., Nkundabanyanga, S.K., Muhwezi, M., Akankunda, B. and Nalukenge, I. (2017), "Tax compliance of small and medium enterprises: a developing country perspective", Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 149-175. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFRC-08-2016-0065

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited