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Ethics and Tax Evasion: A Comparative Study of Accounting and Business Student Opinion in Utah

Andreas School of Business Working Paper

11 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2006  

Robert W. McGee

Fayetteville State University - Department of Accounting

Sheldon R. Smith

Utah Valley University - Department of Accounting

Date Written: October 2006

Abstract

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. The debate revolved around about 15 issues. Over the centuries, three main views evolved on the topic. But the business ethics literature has paid scant attention to this issue, perhaps because of the belief that tax evasion is always unethical.

This paper reports the results of an empirical study of opinion in Utah. A survey of accounting and business students was conducted to determine the extent of their agreement or disagreement with the 15 main issues that Crowe (1944) identified plus three more recent issues. The arguments that have been made over the centuries to justify tax evasion were ranked to determine which arguments are strongest and which are weakest. Accounting student scores were compared to other business student scores to determine whether the responses were significantly different.

Keywords: ethics, tax evasion, Utah, accounting students, business students

JEL Classification: D6, E62, H26, J1, K34, K42, M14, M4

Suggested Citation

McGee, Robert W. and Smith, Sheldon R., Ethics and Tax Evasion: A Comparative Study of Accounting and Business Student Opinion in Utah (October 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=941510 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.941510

Robert W. McGee (Contact Author)

Fayetteville State University - Department of Accounting ( email )

Fayetteville, NC 28301
United States

HOME PAGE: http://robertwmcgee.com

Sheldon R. Smith

Utah Valley University - Department of Accounting ( email )

800 West University Parkway
Orem, UT 84058
United States
801-863-6153 (Phone)
801-863-8060 (Fax)

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