Why Do People Evade Taxes?Summaries of 50 Surveys
100 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2023
Date Written: January 30, 2023
Various World Values Surveys have solicited the views on tens of thousands of people regarding their views on the ethics of tax evasion. Numerous studies citing these surveys have been published. However, those surveys only gathered information about their attitudes toward justifying tax evasion. The surveys did not ask participants the reasons for their answers, leaving readers to guess what their reasons might be. The present study aims to partially fill that gap in the tax evasion literature. This paper summarizes the results of more than 50 surveys that solicited the opinions of many people in different countries on their views of the justifiability of tax evasion. The survey instrument consisted of (usually) 18 statements that began with the phrase, “Tax evasion is ethical if”. Participants were asked to select a number from 1 to 7 to indicate the extent of their agreement with each statement, where 1 equals strongly agree and 7 equals strongly disagree.
Keywords: ethics, tax evasion, tax morale, survey
JEL Classification: E26, H26, O17
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation