The Perception of the Ethics of Tax Evasion in the United Kingdom

37 Pages Posted: 27 May 2020

Date Written: April 28, 2020


This research’s focus was ‘The perception of the ethics of tax evasion in the United Kingdom’. Previous research had identified numerous factors that influence tax morale, including: Age; gender; education level; nationality; religion; trust in government; career/education; country’s economic situation as well as view on law abiding. Age and religion were not focussed on due to the population sampled. The study, conducted in the UK in 2019, had a population sample consisting mainly of University of Portsmouth students with 204 suitable responses. Participants completed a questionnaire based on Robert W. McGee’s 18-statement survey to improve comparability with previous studies. Factors found to affect tax morale were gender, student status and view on law abiding. Student status and view on law abiding had overall significant differences with gender significant on statements regarding human rights issues. The study also compared findings to that of studies conducted in the UK and other countries. Differences in this study and prior research conducted in the UK suggested economic crises could affect tax morale. When compared to other countries there was not a significant difference. However, the UK was slightly more accepting than the collated mean of the previous studies used. Government trust and degree subject did not affect tax morale. Recommendations for future research would be to conduct empirical research on tax morale as well as obtaining a larger population sample to improve findings generalisability. Further research should be conducted on the effects of economic crises on tax morale.

Keywords: Tax Evasion, Ethics, United Kingdom, Gender, Age, Education, Government trust

JEL Classification: E62, H12, H20, H26, J1, J16, K34, K42, M4, M48, O52, O57, P35

Suggested Citation

Collymore, Aidan, The Perception of the Ethics of Tax Evasion in the United Kingdom (April 28, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Aidan Collymore (Contact Author)

University of Portsmouth ( email )

United Kingdom

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