The Ethics of Tax Evasion: A Survey of Hispanic Opinion
Accounting & Taxation, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 53-74, 2012
22 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2012
Date Written: 2012
The present paper is an empirical study, the goal of which is to determine the strength of various arguments that have been used to justify tax evasion and to determine whether results differ based on certain demographic variables. A survey instrument was constructed using a seven-point Likert and distributed to 316 business students at a university in South Texas. The 18 arguments were ranked in terms of strength, from strongest to weakest. Comparisons were also made according to gender, age, and academic major to determine if the viewpoints for these demographics were significantly different. Academic major was the only demographic variable where significant differences in opinion were found. For some of the 18 arguments justifying tax evasion, accounting students were significantly more averse to tax evasion than were business and economics majors. Some arguments justifying tax evasion were stronger than others. The strongest arguments for evading taxes were in cases where the government engaged in human rights abuses. Other strong arguments were in cases where the tax system was perceived as unfair, where tax rates were too high, where government officials were corrupt or where tax funds were not spent wisely.
Keywords: tax evasion, Hispanic, gender, age, major, demographic
JEL Classification: H26, J1, J14, J15, J16, K34, M4
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation