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  • Blog
  • 22nd Nov 2013

Behavioural Insights Tax Trials Win Civil Service Award

Last night, at the UK Government’s Civil Service Awards, the tax trials that we ran with HMRC won the Innovation award. The trials involved rewriting tax reminder letters to incorporate behavioural economics principles, and testing these against controls. BIT and HMRC were able to show how these simple, cost-free interventions…

  • Person

Dr Michael Hallsworth

Dr Michael Hallsworth is Managing Director of BIT Americas. Before his current role, Michael led BIT's global work on health and tax for five years. Michael was previously a Senior Policy Advisor in the Cabinet Office of the UK government and has in-depth experience of both policy development and service…

  • Academic publication
  • 1st Mar 2014

The Behavioralist As Tax Collector: Using Natural Field Experiments to Enhance Tax Compliance

Tax collection problems date back to the earliest recorded history of mankind. This paper begins with a simple theoretical construct of paying (rather than declaring) taxes, which we argue has been an overlooked aspect of tax compliance.

  • Person

Dr Alex Gyani

Alex is the Managing Director of the Behavioural Insights Team's APAC offices. He has been based in Sydney since 2014. He has advised governments around the world on how to use behavioural science to improve policy outcomes and increase the use of evidence-based policy more generally. Previously Alex oversaw the…

  • Academic publication
  • 23rd Apr 2015

The use of field experiments to increase tax compliance

Governments have become increasingly interested in the ‘explosion’ of research into taxpayer behaviour. This article briefly reviews two main theories of tax compliance (‘deterrence’ and ‘non-deterrence’), before discussing the recent rapid rise of natural field experiments (NFEs) in this area.

  • Blog
  • 2nd Mar 2016

Tax lotteries and Behavioural Insights in Europe

Last week, the European Commission published a report on the growing uptake of behavioural insights across the governments of Europe. You can read the report here. One of the most interesting parts of the paper is on the growing use of tax lotteries in European countries. Lotteries or prize draws…

  • Blog
  • 18th Mar 2016

Sugar tax: how will it affect behaviour?

One of the most striking announcements in this week’s UK budget was the introduction of a new ‘soft drinks levy’ (quickly dubbed the sugar tax), which will come into force in 2018. New taxes aren’t usually associated with the Behavioural Insights Team - partly because BIT’s preference is to find…

  • Academic publication
  • 15th Jun 2016

Behavioral Interventions in Tax Compliance: Evidence from Guatemala

This paper presents results from a large (43,387) nationwide randomized controlled trial in Guatemala that used reminders to promote tax compliance.

  • Academic publication
  • 21st Jun 2016

Casting the Tax Net Wider: Experimental Evidence from Costa Rica

The majority of firms in developing countries are informal, and encouraging them to register with the tax authority has proven challenging and costly.

  • Blog
  • 22nd Sep 2016

Increasing tax payments in Costa Rica

Over the past few years, BIT has implemented a number of successful trials using letters to remind people to pay their taxes. In March 2015, we ran our first trial in Costa Rica. In this case we tested sending emails - an even lower cost intervention than letters. Working with…

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