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The Ethics of Tax Evasion: A Survey of Australian Opinion

Robert W. McGee

Fayetteville State University - Department of Accounting

Professor Sanjoy Bose

Abu Dhabi University

April 2007

In 1944, Martin Crowe, a Catholic priest, wrote a doctoral dissertation titled The Moral Obligation of Paying Just Taxes. His dissertation summarized and analyzed 500 years of theological and philosophical debate on this topic, which identified three basic philosophical positions on the issue. Since Crowe's dissertation, not much has been written on the topic of tax evasion from an ethical or religious perspective.

The present paper is an empirical study, the goal of which is to determine the strength of the 15 arguments justifying tax evasion that Crowe identified plus 3 more recent arguments. A survey was constructed using a seven-point Likert scale that included all three positions and all 18 arguments and distributed to 315 business, philosophy and seminary students at several Australian universities. The 18 arguments were ranked in terms of strength, from strongest to weakest.

Comparisons were also made according to major, gender, ethnicity and religion to determine if the viewpoints for these demographics were significantly different.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 25

Keywords: ethics, tax evasion, Australia, gender, ethnicity, religion

JEL Classification: H26, E62, D6, J16, J1, K34, K42, M14, M4, O53

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Date posted: April 12, 2007  

Suggested Citation

McGee, Robert W. and Bose, Professor Sanjoy, The Ethics of Tax Evasion: A Survey of Australian Opinion (April 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=979410 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.979410

Contact Information

Robert W. McGee (Contact Author)
Fayetteville State University - Department of Accounting ( email )
Fayetteville, NC 28301
United States
HOME PAGE: http://robertwmcgee.com
Sanjoy Bose
Abu Dhabi University ( email )
P.O. Box 59911
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates
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