Applying behavioural insights across HMRC: Understanding taxpayer behaviour

  • Date:
  • Time: 14:00 - 15:00
  • Location: Charles Thackrah room 1.05
  • Speaker: Vedran Lesic, HMRC


HRMC houses the largest behavioural insights team in the UK government. The team focuses on applying behavioural Insight to improve taxpayers experience and fund public services. The team has run more than 50 Randomised-Controlled Trials targeting different facets of taxpayers’ behaviour such as reminding taxpayers to file their tax return on time, encouraging uptake of new digital services and others. In addition to the trials, the team uses a wide range of other tools and methods (behavioural workshops, cognitive interviews, google analytics, etc.) to build a comprehensive model of taxpayer’s decision-making process. The aim of this talk is to provide an overview of selected projects that have been shown successful in helping to choose appropriate channels of communications, design better services, and enable HMRC to be even more effective in collecting taxes.


Dr Vedran Lesic is a Senior Behavioural Insights and Trials Advisor within Behaviour, Insights and Research Team at the HM Revenue and Customs. He completed his doctoral degree on topic of “Understanding and Informing Consumers’ About Their Electricity Use”. He was a recipient of University of Leeds 110 Anniversary Research Scholarship and worked within the Consumer Data Research Centre and the Centre for Decision Research under the supervision of Professor with Wändi Bruin de Bruin (Leadership Chair in Behavioural Decision Making); Dr Matthew Davis (Lecturer in Socio-Technical Systems); and Inês Lima Azevedo (Associate Professor, Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University). Previously he completed the Fulbright Predoctoral programme at the Department of Engineering and Public Policy department at Carnegie Mellon University. He holds graduate degrees in Psychology from the University of Zadar and in Public Policy from Dubrovnik International University. In 2014, he was part of the CMU team that won Better Building Case Study Competition (2014) for Best Proposal for both cases A Side of Savings: Energy Efficiency in the Restaurant Franchise Model and Picking up PACE: Taking Commercial PACE Financing to Scale awarded by US. Department of Energy.