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We define customer motivation as the factors that make people willing to comply and follow through with an action.

Aotearoa New Zealand’s tax and social policy system is based on customers voluntarily making the payments they should and claiming only what they’re entitled to. For this system to work, it is critical that the public trusts Te Tari Taake Inland Revenue.

Customer trust and tax morale

New Zealand’s tax system is based on the voluntary compliance of individuals and businesses. Tax morale, or the willingness to pay tax, is a key building block of voluntary compliance. Not all the factors that influence trust and tax morale are within our control. Based on the factors we can influence, we measure 3 beliefs that reflect the views we aim to create among our customers.

We measure our customers trust in us and their tax morale through our Customer Experience and Perceptions Survey. This survey asks customers to rate their responses on a 7-point scale. Results reflect scores of 5 or more, where 1 means 'strongly disagree' and 7 means 'strongly agree'.

Statements and scores from the Customer Experience and Perceptions Survey.
Statement 2020 2021 2022 2023
Have trust in us 68% 64% 60% 57%
Feel good about paying tax 64% 63% 58% 58%
Te Tari Taake Inland Revenue helps people who are trying to get things right 69% 64% 61% 60%
If someone tries to avoid paying the right amount, they will get into trouble with Te Tari Taake Inland Revenue 85% 81% 79% 79%

In 2022–23, 57% of customers gave a trust score of 5 to 7 on a 7-point scale. This result is 3 percentage points lower than last year. We know our customers’ direct experiences with us are a key driver of trust, and it was sometimes challenging for customers to interact with us this year. The downward trend in trust may also reflect a broader global trend of the impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic had on trust in government.

This year has also been financially stressful for many. Domestic and international issues are also weighing on the minds of New Zealanders, influencing how they think and feel. Maintaining public trust is a challenge for both public institutions and governments. With our tax system based on the voluntary compliance of individuals and businesses, ensuring customer trust in us is an important focus.

Tax morale levels remained steady in 2022–23.

Note: In previous annual reports results reported included neutral responses, ratings of 4 to 7 on a 7-point scale. Results in this report for 2020 to 2022 have been adjusted to exclude neutral responses to provide consistent criteria to 2023 results.

Last updated: 18 Dec 2023
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