Deterrence Without Enforcement: Dialogues with Chinese Lawyers About Tax Evasion and Compliance
Benjamin Van Rooij
University of California, Irvine School of Law; University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law
March 7, 2014
UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2014-19
This paper analyses qualitative interviews about deterrence perceptions amongst 62 Chinese lawyers in relation to common tax evasion practices. It finds that there is a plural subjective deterrence, that originates from multiple state and non-state sources. Such deterrence exists, even though state law enforcement is weak to non-existent. It is contextual and varies by type of lawyer, law firm, client, and type of legal practice. Deterrence here cannot be understood merely by studying detection probability and sanction severity for the violations studied. Deterrence here also stems from a combination of ultra general deterrence from the state punishing lawyers for unrelated violations, pervasive and general fear of clients, and risks emanating from incentive, duty and shame perceptions through social norms within the law firm.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 22
Keywords: deterrence, compliance, tax law, Chinese law, qualitative methods
JEL Classification: K34, K42Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 9, 2014 ; Last revised: March 18, 2014
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