Why Law Enforcement Is Weak in China? The Mindset of the Frontline Tax Officials

46 Pages Posted: 11 Nov 2018 Last revised: 8 Apr 2019

See all articles by Huina Xiao

Huina Xiao

Faculty of Law, Macau University of Science and Technology

Date Written: October 11, 2018

Abstract

This article examines the decision-making process of the frontline tax bureaus in China. It suggests that the pressures of the revenue target, political and social networks, and a flawed tax legal system have shaped the frontline tax bureaucrats’ calculations on costs and benefits. Drawing on the cost-benefit analysis, this study finds four types of decisions in these situations: symbolic enforcement, creative enforcement, weak enforcement, and negotiated enforcement. The study suggests that to discipline frontline tax officials is never easy since most are constrained in a vicious circle. Only when the institutional environment is changed can the outcome of law enforcement be substantially enhanced. The typology is shown to be more applicable and comprehensive to understand the problems of law enforcement in developed and developing countries.

Keywords: law enforcement, cost and benefit, tax authorities

Suggested Citation

Xiao, Huina, Why Law Enforcement Is Weak in China? The Mindset of the Frontline Tax Officials (October 11, 2018). Columbia Journal of Asian Law, Vol. 31, No. 2, Spring 2018, p218-262., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3264489

Huina Xiao (Contact Author)

Faculty of Law, Macau University of Science and Technology ( email )

Avenida Wai Long
Taipa
Macau, Macau 519000
Macau

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