Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Craig A. Max IV

First Page



Tax authorities and policy planners have a variety of tools at their disposal to create mechanisms to encourage and enforce compliance with revenue collection systems. Traditionally, these mechanisms include the possibility of criminal prosecution as well as civil pecuniary sanctions. Despite the dominate role that prosecution and pecuniary sanctions hold internationally, there exists a range of alternative enforcement mechanisms utilized. The United States has recently started to implement nonpecuniary enforcement devices to achieve policy goals, namely the encouragement of participating with the federal taxing system. This Note attempts to take an initial step into exploring the range of international enforcement mechanisms available to policy planners. Then, it contrasts these histories with the more recent development of taxation in the United States. It concludes that given international harmonization, the United States is more likely on the forefront rather than behind the learning curve of enforcement devices. While nonpecuniary devices may hold promise to encourage participation, further research is needed to develop refined devices which live up to that promise.