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Taxpayer compliance from three perspectives: A study of economic, environmental, and personal determinants.

Description: Tax evasion is a serious issue that influences governmental revenues, IRS enforcement strategies, and tax policy decisions. While audits are the most effective method of enforcing compliance, they are expensive to conduct and the IRS is only able to audit a fraction of the returns filed each year. This suggests that audits alone are not sufficient to curb the billions of dollars of tax evaded by taxpayers each year and that a better understanding of factors influencing compliance decisions is needed to enable policymakers to craft tax policies that maximize voluntary compliance. Prior research tends to model compliance as economic, environmental, or personal decisions; however, this study models it as a multifaceted decision where these three perspective individually and interactively influence compliance. It is the first to decompose perceived detection risk into two dimensions (selection risk and enforcement risk) and investigates how these two dimensions of risk, decision domains (refund or tax due positions), and three personal factors (mental accounting, narcissism, and proactivity) influence taxpayers’ compliance decisions. I conducted a 2x2 fully crossed experiment involving 331 self-employed taxpayers. These taxpayers have opportunities to evade that employed taxpayers do not. For example, they can earn cash income that is not reported to the IRS by third parties. For self-employed taxpayers (especially those wanting to evade), perceived selection and enforcement risks may be distinctly different depending on a taxpayer’s situation, what they believe they can control, and what risk they are willing to accept. For example, selection risk may be perceived as the greatest risk for those with unreported items on their return, while enforcement risk may be more prominent for those perceiving certain levels of selection risk. Thus, I believe self-employed taxpayers are the most appropriate population to sample from and are likely have reasonable variation in the three personal factors ...
Date: May 2016
Creator: Hunt, Nicholas C
Partner: UNT Libraries

Loyalty or Fairness: A Study of the Influence of Moral Foundations on Auditors' Propensity to Subordinate their Judgment

Description: Subordination of judgment is a fundamental threat to auditor objectivity. Subordination of judgment occurs when auditors agree with their superiors either in spite of or without forming their own independent judgments. Many audit procedures rely on independent, critical thinking at every level of the audit team; however, a number of studies suggest that auditors tend to agree with superiors even when a superior's views clearly run contrary to generally accepted accounting principles. While there is general agreement among scholars that subordination of judgment is "bad," very little attention has been given to moral biases that might influence an auditor's tendency to subordination of judgment, or to potential remedies that could mitigate an auditor's tendency to subordinate judgment. Moral Foundations Theory suggests that individuals tend to make intuitive, normative evaluations of situations based upon a set of personal moral biases or preferences called "moral foundations." Two specific moral foundations could influence subordination of judgment in divergent ways. The moral foundation of loyalty-respect may make agreement with a superior's views seem more acceptable than would disagreement. Meanwhile, the moral foundation of fairness may make an auditor more sensitive to the observance of rules, resulting in less subordination of judgment when a superior's views run contrary to professional rules. Social Identity Theory suggests that in-group favoritism may exacerbate subordination of judgment in general; however, strengthening an auditor's professional identity salience (PIS) could strengthen an auditor's objectivity. PIS is the temporary, heightened awareness of an auditor's identity as a professional and their role as guardian of professional rules. As a result, PIS may interact with an auditor's innate sense of fairness, resulting in less subordination of judgment than when professional identity is less salient. Results supported the hypothesis that auditors tend to subordinate their judgment to that of a superior, but not that PIS ...
Date: December 2016
Creator: Neri, Marc Peter
Partner: UNT Libraries