An estimation of the compliance costs of Slovak taxation

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Technical university of Liberec, Czech Republic
Technická Univerzita v Liberci
Most authors divide the costs of taxation into two subsets. The first subset “direct administrative costs” are the direct costs of the public sector. The second subset the “compliance costs of taxation” are the indirect expenses of the private sector connected with paying taxes. This paper focuses on the compliance costs of taxation with the goal to assess the level of compliance costs of the private sector for income taxation and compliance costs for employers connected with the administration of salaries and social contributions in Slovakia. The results, based on 2011 data show that Slovak businesses have very high costs connected with paying the taxes – compared to other developed countries and also to Slovakia’s neighbours. The estimates for physical persons are particularly high, even using the most cautious assumptions. The situation deserves attention and motivates a search for some explanations and reactions. We argue that both the low level of tax compliance, because of a large shadow economy, and a too complicated tax system are the key factors determining the situation. However, neither a simplification of the tax system or real measures to cut tax evasion are on the agenda of the current left wing government. One specific factor that may have had an impact on the government`s limited willingness to enact necessary radical changes, uncovered by our research, is tax illusion. The responses to our questionnaire were rather surprising – 8% of respondents felt that compliance costs were marginal and 31% felt that their level was fully acceptable. This situation provides one more – political – explanation for the current situation: if tax payers are not well informed their motivation to demand change is limited.
compliance costs of taxation, tax administration, Slovakia