This paper examines the effect of mass media campaigns on income tax filing using survey data from Pakistan. We use information collected about a pro-tax filing communication campaign shortly after the 2013-14 tax filing deadline by Pakistan’s Federal Board of Revenue. We use an inverse probability-weighted regression adjustment estimator to construct comparable treatment and control groups in terms of media exposure and control for predictors of income tax filing. We find that respondents’ likelihood of income tax filing significantly increased in response to exposure to newspaper advertisements of information provision surrounding tax eligibility but not those concerning the tax filing deadline or the benefits associated with tax filing in the form of non-application of financial penalties. TV advertisements that relied on moral suasion and solely portrayed selfemployed taxpayers did not significantly improve tax filing for the entire survey population but were effective among the self-employed. This highlights the importance of the content of the message as well as the implementation of targeted media campaigns by a tax administration to enhance income tax filing.
Koumpias, Antonios M. and Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge, "The Impact of Media Campaigns on Tax Filing:
Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Pakistan" (2019). ICEPP Working Papers. 153.