Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 154, Issue 1, pp 167–180 | Cite as

The Effect of Interactional Fairness and Detection on Taxpayers’ Compliance Intentions

  • Jonathan Farrar
  • Steven E. Kaplan
  • Linda ThorneEmail author
Original Paper


Although the role of fairness in tax compliance has been of increasing interest among the academic and professional tax communities, very little is known about the role of interactional fairness. Interactional fairness refers to the quality of the treatment provided to individuals from authority figures, such as tax authority representatives. We conduct an experiment using US taxpayers to examine the role of interactional fairness on tax compliance intentions, and how detection influences this relation. Taxpayers’ detection salience reflects their perceptions that they will be audited by the tax authority. Using insights from conditional cooperation theory, we predict and find that detection moderates the relation between interactional fairness and tax compliance intentions, such that the effect of interactional fairness on tax compliance intentions diminishes with higher detection. We discuss the implications of our results for tax policy.


Tax compliance Interactional fairness Detection 



Funding was provided by Schulich CPA Research Alliance, Canadian Accounting Association.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Farrar
    • 1
  • Steven E. Kaplan
    • 2
  • Linda Thorne
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Accounting and Finance, Ted Rogers School of ManagementRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.School of Accountancy, W. P. Carey School of BusinessArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  3. 3.Schulich School of BusinessYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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