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Title: Tax compliance by the small and medium-sized corporations : a case of Uganda
Author: Tusubira, Festo Nyende
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 192X
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2018
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The aim of this thesis is to understand tax compliance decisions made by corporate SMEs in Uganda. The study draws on compliance models developed in other settings and explores their applicability in the Ugandan context using mixed methods. Firstly, the study investigates the roles played by tax fairness, trust in government and the URA, and the effects of audits and sanctions in influencing compliance . Secondly, the study explores the direct and indirect roles played by social norms in terms of influencing tax compliance among SMEs . Lastly, the study assesses the effects of corruption on compliance behaviour among SMEs. Survey and semi-structured interview data were collected concurrently. A survey was used to collect data from a total of 386 corporate SME owners and managers from Kampala Capital City Authority and the central and eastern regions. In addition, interviews were conducted with 26 corporate SME owners and managers about their perceptions of corporate tax system fairness in Uganda. The results, unlike those of other studies, show that corporate SME taxpayers are willing to pay their corporate taxes once they have put their trust in the government and tax authorities, even when the tax system is unfair. Also, audit probability and sanctions might not encourage corporate SMEs to comply with corporate tax rules. However, when URA is perceived as powerful where tax officers are able to discover tax non-compliance and impose severe sanctions, SME firms could be motivated to pay taxes due to the government. Importantly, corruption within the URA and the bureaucratic system of Uganda has a negative impact on tax fairness, which triggers corporate tax evasion. Indeed, I have identified four types of corruption that appear to have different impacts on attitudes towards compliance. Also, the results show that day-to-day tax compliance decisions made by corporate SMEs have more direct influence on corporate SMEs’ tax (non)compliance behaviour than ethical values do. However, SMEs’ willingness to comply is affected by how people who are close to each taxpayer think. Overall, the thesis advances scholarship by demonstrating that the Slippery Slope Framework does not hold in Uganda and that different types of social norm impact compliance differently. Corruption is identified as an important differentiating feature when compared to studies in developed countries.
Supervisor: Oats, Lynne ; Onu, Diana Sponsor: Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Trust and power of authorities ; social norms ; corruption ; voluntary and enforced tax compliance ; tax avoidance and evasion ; corporate SMEs ; Uganda