An Empirical Study of Tax Evasion Ethics in Hong Kong
12 Pages Posted: 9 May 2008
Date Written: May 1, 2008
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. This paper begins with a review of the literature, then identifies the main issues and summarizes the three main views that have emerged over the centuries. It then reports on the results of a survey of accounting students in Hong Kong who were asked 15 questions to express their opinions on the main issues identified by Crowe (1944). The data are then analyzed to determine which of the three viewpoints is dominant among the sample population. The 15 arguments that have been used over the centuries to justify tax evasion are ranked to determine which arguments are strongest and which are weakest. Scores are also analyzed by gender to determine whether men or women are significantly more opposed to tax evasion.
Keywords: ethics, tax evasion, Hong Kong, gender
JEL Classification: H26, E62, D6, J16, K34, K42, M14, M4, O53
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