Why do we pay tax? is it because we are good citizens? how tax fits with modern conceptualisations of citizenship

Hart, Samantha Leigh (2018). Why do we pay tax? is it because we are good citizens? how tax fits with modern conceptualisations of citizenship. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Why do we pay tax? If an individual is acting in self-interest, it makes sense to avoid, or evade, as much tax as possible. Rather than exploring why people don't pay tax, this research looks at the reasons why people do pay tax, and asks whether a socio-contractual rights and responsibilities model of citizenship can help explain the tax compliance decision. Through qualitative interviews with the very wealthy, as well as focus group data, this research finds that people. do accept an
obligation to pay tax as part of the contribution condition of citizenship, but that paying tax is not an essential part of being a good citizen; what is crucial is making a contribution either evidenced by tax, or by alternative means.
Participants did not feel low earners were necessarily not fulfilling their civic duties, although it was important they were not making a negative contribution.
Attitudes towards tax avoidance and tax evasion were also explored; when presented with 'real-life' scenarios, most people were more forgiving of some evasion, dependent on the evader's personal circumstances. Evading tax did not necessarily affect that person's 'good citizen' status, reinforcing the idea that paying tax, while an element of citizenship, is not definitive.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Birmingham Business School
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/8158


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