Exploring stakeholder perceptions of tax reform failures and their proposed solutions: a developing country perspective

Arshad Hasan, Naeem Sheikh, Muhammad Bilal Farooq

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study aims to examine why tax reforms fail and explores how tax collection can be improved within a developing country context. Design/methodology/approach: Data comprise 28 semi-structured interviews with taxpayers, tax experts and tax authority personnel based in Pakistan. The results are analysed using a combined lens of taxpayer trust and tax agencies’ capabilities. Findings: Tax reforms failed to build taxpayers’ trust and tax agencies’ capabilities. Building trust is challenging and demands extensive ongoing engagement with taxpayers while yielding gradual permanent results. This requires enhancing confidence in government; educating taxpayers; removing complexities; introducing transparency and accountability in tax agencies’ operations and the tax system; promoting procedural and distributive justice; and reversing perceptions of corruption through reconciliation and stakeholder inclusivity. Developing tax agencies’ capabilities requires upgrading outdated technologies, systems and processes; implementing governance and organisational reforms; introducing an oversight board; and recruiting and training skilled professionals. Practical implications: The findings can assist policymakers and tax collection authorities in understanding why tax reforms fail and identifying potential solutions. Originality/value: This study contributes to the emerging literature by exploring tax administration failures in developing countries. It contributes to the literature by engaging stakeholders to understand why reforms fail and potential solutions to stimulate tax revenues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-755
Number of pages35
JournalMeditari Accountancy Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 25 2024


  • Developing economy
  • Tax administration
  • Tax compliance
  • Tax mobilisation
  • Tax reform
  • Taxpayer trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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