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Getting the message right

Don’t be surprised if you start receiving letters from HMRC telling you that “nine out of 10 people in the UK pay their tax on time”. According to a new study, billions of pounds of extra tax could be raised for HMRC if they used messaging telling people who have not paid their tax that they are in a minority. Behavioural scientists say that tapping into our ‘social norm bias’ significantly increases tax payment rates. Researchers estimate that £4.9m of tax repayment was accelerated during a 23-day sample period due to the use of such messages.



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