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Three Views on the Ethics of Tax Evasion

Robert W. McGee

Fayetteville State University

November 2005

Andreas School of Business Working Paper

In 1944, Martin Crowe, a Catholic priest, wrote a doctoral dissertation titled "The Moral Obligation of Paying Just Taxes". His dissertation summarized and analyzed 500 years of theological and philosophical debate on this topic, much of which took place in Latin. Since Crowe's dissertation, not much has been written on the topic of tax evasion from an ethical perspective, with a few exceptions. In 1998 and 1999, a few articles were published on the ethics of tax evasion in the Journal of Accounting, Ethics & Public Policy. An edited book on this topic was published in 1998.

The present paper summarizes, updates and expands on Crowe's work and the other more recent work that has been published on this topic. Three basic views on the ethics of tax evasion have emerged over the centuries. This article presents and critiques those three views and raises some questions about points that have not yet been explored in the literature.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 41

Keywords: Tax evasion, ethics

JEL Classification: H26, H22, H24, D63, E62

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Date posted: November 9, 2005  

Suggested Citation

McGee, Robert W., Three Views on the Ethics of Tax Evasion (November 2005). Andreas School of Business Working Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=841526 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.841526

Contact Information

Robert W. McGee (Contact Author)
Fayetteville State University ( email )
School of Business and Economics
Fayetteville, NC 28301
United States
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References:  126
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