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Making it less taxing: Using planning prompts to improve tax compliance amongst businesses
Last registered on May 09, 2017

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Making it less taxing: Using planning prompts to improve tax compliance amongst businesses
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002209
Initial registration date
May 08, 2017
Last updated
May 09, 2017 11:37 AM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Harvard University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2017-04-27
End date
2017-09-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The Deferred GST scheme allows businesses to defer the payment of GST on taxable imports which is beneficial for their cash flows. In order to remain on the scheme businesses must continue to meet all of their tax obligations. This includes lodging a monthly activity statement and being up to date on any payments due to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). At any given time, a proportion of businesses on the scheme are non-compliant. Addressing this non-compliance creates additional work for the ATO and leads to higher levels of outstanding tax debt.

This trial will test the effectiveness of a planning prompt email sent to new businesses registering with the scheme reminding them that they will need to stay up to date with their tax obligations each month. A successful intervention could increase business compliance and bring forward business tax payments.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Hiscox, Michael. 2017. "Making it less taxing: Using planning prompts to improve tax compliance amongst businesses ." AEA RCT Registry. May 09. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2209-1.0.
Former Citation
Hiscox, Michael. 2017. "Making it less taxing: Using planning prompts to improve tax compliance amongst businesses ." AEA RCT Registry. May 09. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2209/history/17464.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Businesses in the treatment groups will receive a welcome email using simplification, salience and planning prompts
Intervention Start Date
2017-04-27
Intervention End Date
2017-09-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Primary: (1) Proportion of businesses that become compliant (2) Payments made to tax office
Secondary: (1) Level of interaction (phone calls) with tax office (2) Changes in client account balances
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Businesses will be randomly allocated to treatment and control groups.
Experimental Design Details
Businesses will be randomly allocated to treatment and control groups. This will include businesses that are completely new to the scheme and those that are reapplying to join.
Randomization Method
Businesses will be randomly allocated to treatment and control groups based on their Australian Business Number (ABN).
Randomization Unit
Individual businesses
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
N/A
Sample size: planned number of observations
At least 300 businesses
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Minimum of 150 in treatment and control groups
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
For the outcome measure of proportion of businesses that remain compliant, assuming an initial compliance rate of 75 percent, alpha = 0.05 and power = 0.8 the study is powered to detect a 12.5 percentage point increase in compliance.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
BETA Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
2017-02-22
IRB Approval Number
BETA ETH 2017-009
Analysis Plan

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Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers