Citizens' attitudes towards tax evasion in Hong Kong
Asian Review of Accounting
This research is an exploratory study into Hong Kong citizens' attitudes towards tax evasion, undertaken to provide an indication of the extent of tax evasion in the territory. The research aims to establish whether citizens view tax evasion as an acceptable activity and to compare its acceptance with other misdemeanours such as petty theft. It also aims to establish whether a relationship exists between citizens' attitudes towards tax evasion and a) their demographic characteristics and b) their attitudes towards the tax system and tax environment. A survey was undertaken in Hong Kong, involving a representative sample of 654 citizens. The survey found that while tax evasion on all or a large part of income is considered unacceptable, small scale tax evasion (on less than 10% of income) is deemed an acceptable activity. Small scale evasion is considered more acceptable than all other misdemeanours included in the survey, including stealing a newspaper! Other findings were that citizens' belief that tax evasion is common amongst people they know is positively related to their acceptance of tax evasion, and that tax evasion is viewed as a more acceptable activity by lower than higher income groups, and by manual workers than managers, executives and professionals.
Copyright © 1996, MCB UP Limited. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.