How Serious is Tax Evasion?: An Empirical Legal Answer

Indonesian Journal of International and Comparative Law 1(1): 218-259 (2014, Forthcoming)

42 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 2013  

Robert W. McGee

Fayetteville State University - Department of Accounting

Wendy Gelman

Florida International University

Thomas J. Tarangelo

Florida International University (FIU) - School of Accounting

Date Written: November 25, 2013

Abstract

Tax evasion has persistently carried severe penalties, although its intended deterrence effect is highly doubtful. We can safely say that it is based on the widely shared assumption among government officials that tax evasion is among the more serious crimes. In other words, the rationale of the current approach is that the punishment should fit the crime. By taking this into account, this empirical work sets out to expand on previous studies by examining the relative seriousness of 75 crimes and analyzing some demographic variables, including gender, age, marital status, religion and others, to determine whether tax evasion is as serious a crime as some policy makers believe it to be, and to determine whether opinions differ based on demographics. The study finding shows that tax evasion is deemed to be less serious than the average crime. The article concludes that since tax evasion was deemed to be less serious than most other offenses, one might reasonably conclude that the punishment for tax evasion should be less than the punishment for most other offenses.

Keywords: Tax Evasion, Empirical Legal Studies, Tax Laws, Law and Morality, Crime and Punishments, Criminal Legal Theories, Jurisprudence, Legal Theories.

JEL Classification: D63, D71, D78, H2, H26, J12, J16, K14, K34, M4

Suggested Citation

McGee, Robert W. and Gelman, Wendy and Tarangelo, Thomas J., How Serious is Tax Evasion?: An Empirical Legal Answer (November 25, 2013). Indonesian Journal of International and Comparative Law 1(1): 218-259 (2014, Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2359703

Robert W. McGee (Contact Author)

Fayetteville State University - Department of Accounting ( email )

Fayetteville, NC 28301
United States

HOME PAGE: http://robertwmcgee.com

Wendy Gelman

Florida International University ( email )

Miami, FL 33199
United States
305-348-2582 (Phone)

Thomas J. Tarangelo

Florida International University (FIU) - School of Accounting ( email )

University Park
11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33199
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
200
Rank
123,799
Abstract Views
1,183