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Proactive Public Disclosure: A new regulatory strategy for creating tax compliance?

Karen Boll
  • Corresponding author
  • Associate Professor, PhD, Department of Organization, Copenhagen Business School
  • Email:
/ Michael Tell
  • Associate Professor, PhD, Law Department, Copenhagen Business School
  • Email:
Published Online: 2016-04-20 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ntaxj-2015-0009


This article discusses proactive public disclosure of taxpayer information and how this may form a new strategy for securing tax compliance by tax administrators. It reports a case study from the Danish Customs and Tax Administration in which consumers of services-over a short period of time-were informed about businesses’ lack of value-added tax (VAT) registration. Our approach to the case is twofold: First, the article lays out a legal analysis of the disclosure practice, and second, the article presents an organizational analysis of why the practice was initiated. The analyses show that using proactive public disclosure is compatible with the Duty of Confidentiality, but incompatible with Good Public Governance. Furthermore, the analyses show that there are a number of strong organizational rationales for using proactive public disclosure, despite its apparent incompatibility with Good Public Governance. The article is innovative in that it combines a legal and organizational approach to analyse a new regulatory strategy within tax administration.

Keywords: Public disclosure; tax administration; public law; organization; tax compliance


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About the article

Received: 2015-08-07

Accepted: 2015-11-10

Published Online: 2016-04-20

Published in Print: 2015-12-01

Citation Information: Nordic Tax Journal, ISSN (Online) 2246-1809, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ntaxj-2015-0009. Export Citation

© 2016. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

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