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Three Views on the Ethics of Tax Evasion

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  • Robert McGee

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Abstract

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, much of which took place in Latin. Since Crowe’s dissertation, not much has been written on the topic of tax evasion from an ethical perspective, with a few exceptions. In 1998 and 1999, a few articles were published on the ethics of tax evasion in the Journal of Accounting, Ethics & Public Policy. An edited book on this topic was published in 1998. The present paper summarizes, updates and expands on Crowe’s work and the other more recent work that has been published on this topic. Three basic views on the ethics of tax evasion have emerged over the centuries. This article presents and critiques those three views and raises some questions about points that have not yet been explored in the literature. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Robert McGee, 2006. "Three Views on the Ethics of Tax Evasion," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 67(1), pages 15-35, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:67:y:2006:i:1:p:15-35
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-006-9002-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Reckers, Philip M.J. & Sanders, Debra L. & Roark, Stephen J., 1994. "The Influence of Ethical Attitudes on Taxpayer Compliance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(4), pages 825-836, December.
    2. Robert W. McGee, & Arsen M. Djatej, & Robert H. S. Sarikas,, 2012. "The Ethics Of Tax Evasion: A Survey Of Hispanic Opinion," Accounting & Taxation, The Institute for Business and Finance Research, vol. 4(1), pages 53-74.
    3. Robert McGee, 2006. "Three Views on the Ethics of Tax Evasion," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 67(1), pages 15-35, August.
    4. Hayek, F. A., 1978. "Law, Legislation and Liberty, Volume 2," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226320830, April.
    5. Reckers, Philip M.J. & Sanders, Debra L. & Roark, Stephen J., 1994. "The Influence of Ethical Attitudes on Taxpayer Compliance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(4), pages 825-36, December.
    6. White, Stuart, 2003. "The Civic Minimum: On the Rights and Obligations of Economic Citizenship," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198295051.
    7. Charles Rowley & Anne Rathbone, 2004. "Political Economy of Antitrust," Chapters,in: The International Handbook of Competition, chapter 6 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Robert W McGee, 2006. "The Ethics Of Tax Evasion: A Survey Of Romanian Business Students And Faculty," The IUP Journal of Public Finance, IUP Publications, vol. 0(2), pages 38-68, May.
    9. Robert W McGee, 2007. "Ethics and Tax Evasion in Asia," The IUP Journal of Public Finance, IUP Publications, vol. 0(2), pages 21-33, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Robert W. McGee & Ken Devos & Serkan Benk, 2016. "Attitudes towards Tax Evasion in Turkey and Australia: A Comparative Study," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(1), pages 1-13, March.
    2. Robert McGee, 2006. "Three Views on the Ethics of Tax Evasion," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 67(1), pages 15-35, August.
    3. Doina Pacurari, 2013. "Profit Tax Or Income Tax? Options For Fiscal Optimization Of Romanian Small Companies," Studies and Scientific Researches. Economics Edition, "Vasile Alecsandri" University of Bacau, Faculty of Economic Sciences, issue 18.
    4. James Alm & Benno Torgler, 2011. "Do Ethics Matter? Tax Compliance and Morality," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 101(4), pages 635-651, July.
    5. repec:kap:jbuset:v:147:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10551-015-2978-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Barbara Culiberg & Domen Bajde, 2014. "Do You Need a Receipt? Exploring Consumer Participation in Consumption Tax Evasion as an Ethical Dilemma," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 124(2), pages 271-282, October.
    7. Jeffrey Cohen & Gil Manzon & Valentina Zamora, 2015. "Contextual and Individual Dimensions of Taxpayer Decision Making," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 126(4), pages 631-647, February.
    8. Robert McGee & Simon Ho & Annie Li, 2008. "A Comparative Study on Perceived Ethics of Tax Evasion: Hong Kong Vs the United States," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 77(2), pages 147-158, January.
    9. Friedrich Schneider & Katharina Linsbauer & Friedrich Heinemann, 2015. "Religion and the Shadow Economy," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 111-141, February.
    10. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2011. "Tax Morale, Tax Evasion and the Shadow Economy," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Shadow Economy, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Grahame Dowling, 2014. "The Curious Case of Corporate Tax Avoidance: Is it Socially Irresponsible?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 124(1), pages 173-184, September.
    12. Ross Adriana M. & McGee Robert W., 2011. "Attitudes toward Tax Evasion: A Demographic Study of Malaysia," Asian Journal of Law and Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(3), pages 1-51, October.
    13. repec:gam:jscscx:v:5:y:2016:i:1:p:10:d:64848 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    ethics; tax evasion; duty;

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