Social Marketing for the Reduction of Tax Evasion: The Case of Electronic Invoicing in Portugal

  • Beatriz CasaisEmail author
  • Marisa R. Ferreira
  • João F. Proença
Part of the Springer Texts in Business and Economics book series (STBE)


This case study is on a social marketing campaign to decrease tax evasion in Portugal. The main campaign goal was to promote wider general use of invoices with the customer’s tax number. The social marketing campaign is based on marketing incentives to issue an invoice. The incentives involve tax deductions, an invoice lottery (with tax numbers) every month, direct marketing actions, and advertising. The process of generating invoices by traders became mandatory and simplified with certified systems. Customers can show a bar code which can be easily scanned to introduce their tax number in invoices. This process has become culturally accepted and part of the normal sales process. The social marketing intervention decreased VAT tax evasion in priority sectors and is creating a social norm of generating invoices with tax numbers, through tax deduction incentives and an invoice lottery. In the long term, tax evasion as a social norm should be re-evaluated in order to control social marketing effectiveness.


Social marketing Tax evasion Portugal Social norms Incentives 



João F. Proença gratefully acknowledges financial support from FCT- Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (Portugal), national funding through research grant UID/SOC/04521/2019.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beatriz Casais
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Marisa R. Ferreira
    • 4
  • João F. Proença
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.School of Economics and ManagementUniversity of MinhoBragaPortugal
  2. 2.Polytechnic Institute of Cavado and AveBarcelosPortugal
  3. 3.IPAM PortoPortoPortugal
  4. 4.School of Technology and ManagementCIICESI, Polytechnic Institute of PortoPortoPortugal
  5. 5.Faculty of Economics and ManagementUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  6. 6.ADVANCE/CSGUniversity of LisbonLisbonPortugal

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