Taxpayer Rights Digest

Announcing Open Registration for Tax Chat No. 3 -- The Anthropology of Tax

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Dear Friends,

Please join us for our next episode of Tax Chat!, our free zoom conversation about taxpayer rights and tax administration, to be held on Tuesday, November 10 at noon Eastern Standard Time (17:00 GMT/18:00 CET).  The Center for Taxpayer Rights’ mission includes promoting and exploring taxpayer rights and taxation through disciplines other than the traditional ones of law and economics.  For that reason, I am very pleased to announce the subject of Tax Chat! No. 3 is The Anthropology of Tax.

Over the years, I’ve been privileged to work with a dedicated group of anthropologists who are exploring taxation and tax administration through the lens of anthropological fieldwork. In this episode of Tax Chat! we will explore “what anthropology is” and how anthropological research can uncover new insights into people’s behavior and assumptions about taxation, tax administration, government, and tax compliance.  We’ll discuss anthropological fieldwork, how anthropology interacts with other disciplines, and how anthropology’s holistic approach can connect taxation with different aspects of what it means to be human.

Our guests for this Tax Chat! are Lotta Bjorklund Larsen, Johanna Mugler, and Nimmo Elmi.  All three are participants in the International Conference on Taxpayer Rights, and in December 2017 I hosted Lotta and Johanna, along with several other anthropologists, for a National Taxpayer Advocate Conversation.  You can see a video of their presentations here.

Lotta Bjorklund Larsen is currently a research fellow at the Tax Administration Research Centre (TARC) at the University of Exeter Business School, England.  She is the author of Shaping Taxpayers: Values in Action at the Swedish Tax Agency, as well as many articles on taxation, including What is Tax Morale? A moral Anthropological Stance on a Failed Cooperative Compliance Initiative.

Johanna Mugler is a Lecturer and Researcher at the Institute for Social Anthropology at the University of Bern, Switzerland.  She was a member of the International Max Planck Research School on Retaliation, Mediation and Punishment.  Her current research project, “The Emergence of Global Taxpayers,” explores transnational legal and fiscal expert networks and the organizational environments in which they negotiate international tax norms, rules and standards for an increasingly digitalized global economy.

Nimmo Elmi is a PhD Research Fellow at the Institute of Technology and Social Change at Linkoping University, Sweden.  Her current research will be presented in her upcoming book, “Digitalising Taxation: The Travels and Translations of ITax in Kenya”, which is based on her eight-month long ethnographic fieldwork in Kenya with the Kenya Revenue Authority, among taxpayers, and within tax centers in Niarobi, Kiambu, and Isiolo.

So.  This Tax Chat! Promises to be a very information and fascinating conversation; I encourage you all to register – just click on the link below.  I hope to see you on November 10th!

All the best, and stay safe,

Nina Olson
Executive Director
Center for Taxpayer Rights