European Integration - Realities and Perspectives. Proceedings 2017
Some Considerations on Fiscal Sociology
Alina Cristina Nuţă1
Abstract: Economists and sociologists, jurists and historians recognize taxation as an important element of
the life of individuals and society and believe that this tool materialize the relationship between individuals
and the state. Starting from the definition of tax (the socio-economic relationship carried out between
individuals and the state, that is final and compulsory), some authors consider taxation eith er as a cause of the
society change or as a symptom of changing in society. Schumpeter used the term fiscal sociology in order to
show those multiple perspectives on taxation and during the last period we discuss about the "new fiscal
sociology," which emphasizes the causal and theoretical importance of taxation. Taxation surprise the level of
the relationship that individuals have with the state; all individuals know they have to pay taxes, bu t anybody
else does not know how concretely contri buted to one or another public goods, as there isn’t a direct
relationship between the level of income transfer to the government and th e quantity of public goods the
individual benefit. Even if individuals are aware of their obligations to the state, there were many con flicting
moments in history, known as tax revolts, which involved various changes in the tax rules.
Keywords: taxation, fiscal sociology; tax compliance; tax state
JEL Classification: H21; Z13; A14; H11
“The public finances are one of the best starting points for an investigation of society, especially
though not exclusively of its political life,” (Schumpeter, 1918)
The central aspect of fiscal sociology, as observed in the specialized theory, concerns tax compliance.
A first step in addressing the existence and payment of taxes takes into account the importance of
taxpayer correct information so that tax administrations can properly configure the appropriate tax
wedge. Correct information of tax administrations is closely related to the extent to which tax
legislation is perceived as fair by taxpayers. Sociological and economic research argues that social
norms, fairness and justice tend to support the agreement to pay taxes, being determinants of
taxpayers' willingness and ability to cooperate with tax authorities.
Several studies (Buettner & Grimm, 2016) have analyzed the underlying tax compliance, revealing the
following factors as important:
- non-trivial relationship between tax institutions and compliance decisions
- the role of delayed feedback on audits for tax compliance
- contributions to a public good in the context of cause- related marketing, a special form of
1 Associate Professor, PhD, Department of Economics, Danubius University of Galati, Romania, Address: 3 Galati Blvd.,
Galati 800654, Romania, Tel.: +40372361102, Corresponding author: email@example.com.