Document Type


Publication Date



Measuring and predicting compliance with tax obligations is important but challenging. Survey data from California smokers are investigated to show that several forms of tax avoidance and evasion were common. About 43% of smokers avoided taxes by purchasing cigarettes outside the state in the previous year, 15% admit to evading taxes through cross-border purchases, and 26% bought likely or certainly untaxed cigarettes in the state in the past month. Attitudinal factors involving tax morale contributed more toward explaining the variance in compliance rates than demographic or law-and-economics factors. The implications for policy are discussed.