A Comparative Study on Perceived Ethics of Tax Evasion: Hong Kong vs. The United States
25 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2006
Date Written: September 2006
The ethics of tax evasion has been discussed sporadically in the theological and philosophical literature for at least 500 years. Martin Crowe wrote a doctoral thesis that reviewed much of that literature in 1944. This paper begins with a review of the literature and identifies the main issues and summarizes the three main views that have emerged over the centuries. It then reports on the results of a survey of HK and US university business students who were asked 15 statements to express their opinions on the 15 main issues. The data are then analyzed to determine which of the three viewpoints is dominant among the sample population. HK scores are compared to US scores to determine the difference between the two societies. The underlying cultural differences are further explored in hope of accounting for differing perceptions of ethics of tax evasion. Policy implications for increasing people's awareness of ethics on tax evasion are also highlighted.
Keywords: tax evasion, ethics, Hong Kong, China
JEL Classification: D6, E62, H26, J16, K42, M14, M4, O53
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