A man once wrote to the Australian Taxation Office: ‘I have been unable to sleep, knowing that I have cheated on my income tax. I understated my taxable income and now enclose a cheque for $1500. If I still can’t sleep, I will send you the rest’. The joke illustrates neatly how taxation and tax compliance is of crucial importance in citizens’ lives. In his book For Good and Evil, Charles Adams (1993) predicts: ‘Though tax records are generally looked upon as a nuisance, the day may come when historians will realise that tax records tell the real story behind civilised life. How people were taxed, who was taxed, and what was taxed tell more about a society than anything else’ (p. 21). Our first EAP issue in 2008 accordingly starts with a special volume on tax compliance and tax policy. We have assembled a collection of contributions from leading international researchers in this area. The studies will show that the topic is at once complex, challenging, and fascinating.