Tax revenues are fundamental budgetary resources for the majority of governments around the world. Consequently, the goal of identifying efficient strategies that facilitate an increase in tax compliance should be on the agenda of all tax authorities. By surveying 358 Romanian taxpayers, our study analyzes how tax literacy influences tax compliance, thus contributing to the existing literature, which reports few results on this topic. Using moderation analysis, we find that tax literacy is one of the key elements shaping tax compliance. Respondents who reported more neutral social representations of taxation concepts turned out to be more tax literate and more willing to comply voluntarily. The level of tax literacy was estimated using a tax literacy index created for this purpose. Our study provides policy makers with a starting point for understanding how taxpayers comprehend taxation concepts and how they relate to the tax system. Equipped with such information, those charged with designing tax policy could help raise literacy among taxpayers, making the role of tax collection more salient and ultimately improving tax compliance.
Keywords: tax authorities, tax behavior, tax compliance, tax literacy index