Journal of
Accounting and Taxation

  • Abbreviation: J. Account. Taxation
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6664
  • DOI: 10.5897/JAT
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 207

Full Length Research Paper

An empirical analysis of taxpayers’ fairness preferences from Canada’s Taxpayer Bill of rights

Jonathan Farrar
  • Jonathan Farrar
  • Ryerson University, Canada.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 04 May 2015
  •  Accepted: 19 May 2015
  •  Published: 31 May 2015


Many countries have adopted a taxpayer charter or equivalent, which governs the relationship between taxpayers and tax authorities. However, little is known about the extent to which these charters are constructed in accordance with widely accepted fairness dimensions, as well as the relative importance of taxpayer charter rights within each fairness dimension. This research investigates the Canadian taxpayer charter (the Taxpayer Bill of Rights) using a trio of fairness dimensions that are known to influence tax compliance and the tax assessment process: procedural fairness, interpersonal fairness, and informational fairness. Rights classified as interpersonal or informational fairness were significantly underweight relative to procedural fairness. Furthermore, taxpayers rated data privacy, tax authority’s accountability, and comprehensive communication of information as the most important aspects of their service relationship with the tax authority. Implications for tax policy makers and tax researchers are discussed.

Key words: Fairness, tax compliance, charter.