How seriously do taxpayers regard tax evasion? A survey of opinion in England

How seriously do taxpayers regard tax evasion? A survey of opinion in England PurposeNumerous studies have been done on various aspects of tax evasion in recent years. Some studies focus on compliance, while others examine more esoteric topics, such as optimum tax evasion. A third group of studies discusses theoretical issues, such as when tax evasion can be justified on moral grounds. A few studies have addressed the relative seriousness of tax evasion compared to other infractions. The purpose of this paper is in the latter category.Design/methodology/approachWave 6 of the World Values Surveys (2010-2014) asked hundreds of questions to participants in 57 countries. One of those questions asked whether it was justifiable to evade taxes if one had the opportunity to do so. Another question asked whether it was justifiable to pay cash to avoid paying taxes. It also asked questions about other ethical issues such as bribery, avoiding a fare on public transport, claiming government benefits and buying stolen goods. The present study included those questions in a survey that was distributed to 485 students and faculty members at the University of Exeter in England to determine the relative seriousness of each act. They were asked to select a number from 1 (never justifiable) to 10 (always justifiable) to show the extent of their agreement or disagreement with the commission of the six acts. The goal was to determine how serious tax evasion was compared to other acts that might be considered unethical. One-sample t-test and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) methods were used for the data analysis.FindingsThe results of the study show that the act considered least serious was paying cash for services to avoid tax followed in order of seriousness by avoiding a fare on public transport, cheating on taxes if you have a chance, buying stolen goods, claiming benefits without entitlement and, with least justification, accepting a bribe in the course of one’s duty. Some interesting results emerged by examining the responses of different groups. Like other studies, the results indicate older groups tend to have a higher respect for the law than younger ones. This was true for the cheating on taxes possibility, but the 30-49 years age group were more opposed than the other two groups to paying cash for services to avoid taxes. In terms of gender, females were significantly more opposed than males to cheating on taxes if you have a chance. The respondents who are married were more opposed to the six acts, including of course, the two tax ones, than non-married persons. There was also evidence that the level of higher education makes a difference to individuals’ opinions.Originality/valueThis is an important study in relation to England. It is the first study to do so. The relative seriousness of tax evasion is compared to other offenses. Mean scores are used to rank the various offenses in terms of relative seriousness. Various demographics are also examined to see whether some groups view tax evasion as more serious than other groups. Those demographics included gender, age, academic major, education level and marital status. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Money Laundering Control Emerald Publishing

How seriously do taxpayers regard tax evasion? A survey of opinion in England

Loading next page...
 
/lp/emerald-publishing/how-seriously-do-taxpayers-regard-tax-evasion-a-survey-of-opinion-in-KANLQ5LBJ3
Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1368-5201
DOI
10.1108/JMLC-09-2018-0056
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeNumerous studies have been done on various aspects of tax evasion in recent years. Some studies focus on compliance, while others examine more esoteric topics, such as optimum tax evasion. A third group of studies discusses theoretical issues, such as when tax evasion can be justified on moral grounds. A few studies have addressed the relative seriousness of tax evasion compared to other infractions. The purpose of this paper is in the latter category.Design/methodology/approachWave 6 of the World Values Surveys (2010-2014) asked hundreds of questions to participants in 57 countries. One of those questions asked whether it was justifiable to evade taxes if one had the opportunity to do so. Another question asked whether it was justifiable to pay cash to avoid paying taxes. It also asked questions about other ethical issues such as bribery, avoiding a fare on public transport, claiming government benefits and buying stolen goods. The present study included those questions in a survey that was distributed to 485 students and faculty members at the University of Exeter in England to determine the relative seriousness of each act. They were asked to select a number from 1 (never justifiable) to 10 (always justifiable) to show the extent of their agreement or disagreement with the commission of the six acts. The goal was to determine how serious tax evasion was compared to other acts that might be considered unethical. One-sample t-test and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) methods were used for the data analysis.FindingsThe results of the study show that the act considered least serious was paying cash for services to avoid tax followed in order of seriousness by avoiding a fare on public transport, cheating on taxes if you have a chance, buying stolen goods, claiming benefits without entitlement and, with least justification, accepting a bribe in the course of one’s duty. Some interesting results emerged by examining the responses of different groups. Like other studies, the results indicate older groups tend to have a higher respect for the law than younger ones. This was true for the cheating on taxes possibility, but the 30-49 years age group were more opposed than the other two groups to paying cash for services to avoid taxes. In terms of gender, females were significantly more opposed than males to cheating on taxes if you have a chance. The respondents who are married were more opposed to the six acts, including of course, the two tax ones, than non-married persons. There was also evidence that the level of higher education makes a difference to individuals’ opinions.Originality/valueThis is an important study in relation to England. It is the first study to do so. The relative seriousness of tax evasion is compared to other offenses. Mean scores are used to rank the various offenses in terms of relative seriousness. Various demographics are also examined to see whether some groups view tax evasion as more serious than other groups. Those demographics included gender, age, academic major, education level and marital status.

Journal

Journal of Money Laundering ControlEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 2, 2019

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off