IRS News Release  
August 09, 1989

Voluntary Compliance Predicted to Increase

Voluntary compliance with tax laws declined slightly among individual taxpayers between 1982 and 1985, according to a recently completed study by the Internal Revenue Service. The study is described in an article in the 1989 edition of Internal Revenue Service publication, "Trend Analyses and Related Statistics."

Although voluntary compliance declined in 1985, it is still above the level reported for 1979. Furthermore, over two-thirds of the measured decline in voluntary compliance can be accounted for by technical factors -- such as changes in tax brackets and tax rates between 1982 and 1985 -- rather than actual understatements of tax by individual taxpayers. The IRS noted that another study on income tax compliance research projects that voluntary compliance will increase in the 1986-1992 period.

The article on trends in voluntary compliance is one of twenty articles in the publication -- IRS Document 6011. Topics covered by other articles include: taxpayer perceptions about the quality of taxpayer service, artificial intelligence applications in the IRS, impacts of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 on effective tax rates, and filing characteristics of U. S. passport applicants resident abroad.

The document also contains:

  • abstracts of recent IRS studies in tax administration;
  • highlights of current economic, demographic and technological trends; and
  • statistics on employment, income, population, and tax return filings (both actual and projected) for the United States and for IRS regions, districts and service centers.

"Trend Analyses and Related Statistics", Document 6011, is available at a charge of $13.00 from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402.

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