Reader’s guide

This second edition of Building Tax Culture, Compliance and Citizenship, the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration’s sourcebook on taxpayer education initiatives, follows that published in 2015 (OECD/FIIAPP, 2015[1]). The primary purpose of this report is to share information that will facilitate dialogue among tax officials, policy makers, researchers and citizens on taxpayer education, tax morale and tax compliance and to help those interested in designing or improving taxpayer education initiatives to do so in the most informed way.

This edition of the sourcebook provides international data from 59 advanced and emerging economies, members and non-members of the OECD.

The publication presents the results of an international survey which took place in 2019. Tax administrations were asked to select a limited number (up to three) of what they considered their major taxpayer education initiatives. Survey information was gathered using a form specifically designed for that purpose. Participation was voluntary and 59 tax administrations completed the survey.

While all data contained in the publication has been subject to a high-level review by the OECD, neither the OECD nor any other partner organisation has formally validated the data. As a result, all data included in the publication should be considered as self-reported by the tax administrations concerned.

This initial survey was complemented by a follow-up survey, which focused on the way the Covid-19 pandemic has affected taxpayer education initiatives. Finally, in Spring 2021 the draft report was circulated for comments among all participating countries, as well as members of the OECD Forum on Tax Administration; comments were received from countries which did or did not reply to the first survey and taken into account as extensively as possible. It should be noted that:

  • The report aims to show the diversity of taxpayer education initiatives around the world and, through classifying these diverse initiatives into a typology, to help the reader develop a clear picture of existing possibilities and challenges in taxpayer education. The report does not intend to act as catalogue of all the initiatives of participating countries, but rather uses a balanced selection of initiatives to illustrate the various approaches taken. As such, not all initiatives for which information was received are mentioned in the core of the report, though the Annex does contain a summary of all the survey responses.

  • Comments received, aimed at clarifying or completing an answer received in the initial survey, were taken into account in the core of the report and/or in the Annex.

  • Comments received about initiatives not detailed in the initial survey were mentioned in the text of the report, when appropriate.

  • Examples received from countries which did not participate to the initial survey were included in the text of the report, when appropriate.

The main body of the publication is structured around seven chapters:

  • the first two chapters comprise an introduction to taxpayer education and the typology created for this report

  • this is followed by thematic chapters on teaching tax; communicating tax; providing practical assistance; and the role of non-governmental organisations (NGOs)

  • the final chapter offers a conclusion.

This publication is intended to help practitioners, regardless of previous experience, design efficient taxpayer education initiatives adapted to the context of their particular country; to this end, readers may differ in their approach to using this report. The report is designed to provide those wishing to explore the diversity of taxpayer education with an introduction to taxpayer education and a typology, created by this report, as well as more in-depth analysis of the specific issues involved in the different types of initiatives. Readers with precise needs may choose to use the report more selectively; for example those looking for inspiration or guidance on addressing specific challenges may wish to focus on the methodology introduced in chapter one to identify the relevant thematic chapter(s) and initiatives in the Annex.

The publication also contains an Annex that summarises all the initiatives for which tax administrations gave details during the initial survey round, which can be a great resource for all readers.

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