The Ethics of Tax Evasion: A Survey of Accounting, Business and Economics Students in Hong Kong
Robert W. McGee
Journal of Accounting, Ethics & Public Policy
Simon S. M. Ho
Hong Kong Baptist University
February 4, 2006
The ethics of tax evasion has been discussed sporadically in the theological and philosophical literature for at least 500 years. Martin Crowe wrote a doctoral thesis that reviewed much of that literature in 1944. The debate revolved around about 15 issues. Over the centuries, three main views evolved on the topic.
This paper begins with a review of the literature and identifies the main issues and summarizes the three main viewpoints that have emerged over the centuries. It then reports on the results of a survey of Hong Kong accounting, business and economics students who were asked their opinions on the ethics of tax evasion. The survey consisted of 15 statements, representing the 15 issues and 3 viewpoints that have emerged over the centuries. Participants were asked to signify the extent of their agreement with each statement by placing a number from 1 to 7 in the space provided. Ninety (90) usable responses were received. The data were then analyzed to determine which of the three viewpoints was dominant among the sample population. Male scores were also compared to female scores to determine if the responses differed by gender.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 19
Keywords: tax evasion, evade, ethics, China, Hong Kong
JEL Classification: H26, E62, O54
Date posted: December 13, 2005
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