This paper reports on the findings of a tax experiment conducted to assess salaried individual taxpayers’ assessment performance in the context of early phase of self-assessment system (SAS) implementation in Malaysia. The change of taxpayers’ responsibilities as a result of the introduction of SAS had triggered debates on whether taxpayers are able to perform the required tasks under the new system. This is because SAS demands taxpayers to perform the primary tasks that were previously handled by the tax authority, which emphasise on completing tax returns accurately, including computing the correct tax liabilities. In order to perform their responsibilities successfully, it is believed that taxpayers must achieve and possess certain states which intrinsically developed. Specifically, this paper presents part of the results of an investigation of the relationships between taxpayer’s internal states as well as taxpayer assistance and assessment performance and simultaneously considered the moderating influence of taxpayer assistance. The data is collected using a quasi-experimental design known as posttest-only no-treatment control group design. The sample comprises of post-graduate students, who are actual taxpayers. Among the elements of the taxpayer’s internal states considered in this study, tax knowledge was found to have significant relationship with assessment performance. However, taxpayer assistance did not have moderating effect on the relationships of taxpayer’s internal states and assessment performance. The findings of this study have contributed to the body of knowledge because there is a general dearth of published research, particularly in Malaysia that investigates such relationships.
Keywords: Taxpayer, assessment performance, experiment, internal states
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