National culture and tax performance in Africa

Taiwo Azeez Olaniyi and Babatunde Akinola

Department of Accounting, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria

Traditional theories ignored the power of culture with respect to tax performance, even though culture does have an impact on everything that people do or decide not to do. This study examines the impact of the national culture dimensions: the power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, long-term orientation and indulgence on tax performance in ten African countries. A quantitative research design was adopted and a panel dataset from 2010 to 2016 was analyzed using the Panel-Corrected Standard Error estimator. The results show that indulgence indicates a significant positive impact on tax performance, the power distance, individualism and long-term orientation have a significant negative impact on tax performance, whereas masculinity and uncertainty avoidance have an insignificant impact. Thus, high tax performance is associated with a low power distance, low individualism, low short-term orientation, moderate uncertainty avoidance, masculinity and high indulgence. This study recommends that tax policymakers should consider cultural values when designing tax compliance legislation or when investigating possible behavioral irregularities.

Keywords: taxation, culture, performance, Africa

JEL Classification: D82, H25, M49

Ekonomski horizonti2020, 22(1), 1-15. Elektronska verzija objavljena 24. aprila 2020