It is also the sort of respect to like someone in authority and you have to

It is also the sort of respect to like someone in

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and you don’t want to question them. It is also the sort of respect too like someone in authority and you have to respect them. You can’t question them.” (P3) “Polynesians are a very tribal people. We are very much from a layered system of hierarchy and have been for generations. So there is a great deal of respect for people who hold positions in terms of leadership, chieftainship, families’ statuses and there is honour in that. It is almost patriarch or matriarch and it is very authoritative, and pretty much what they say goes in the culture.” (BE12) “They have always considered that the IRD to be the bad boys, the bogeyman you know – truly. The reason why they see the IRD as the bad boy is because of the fear factor i.e. IRD wielding the big stick. They said that it is a bad thing that the IRD is the bogeyman wielding the big stick and taking money away from them. If they don’t pay on time, or don’t report on time – then there is all these penalties. It is a fear thing, absolute fear of the IRD.” (BE10) Like the Maori group, the Pacific operators’ perception of the IRD was largely out of fear and reverence and therefore they were more accepting of the IRD’s tax assessment of them. This may be detrimental as errors made by IRD staff may go undetected. Furthermore, their low tax knowledge may prevent them from claiming church tax rebates and seeking costless tax assistance from the IRD. To corroborate the accounts of
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121 the ethnic groups’ perception of the IRD, the next subsection examines the observations of the tax practitioners and business experts of SMEs’ perceptions towards the IRD. 7.3.5 SMEs perceptions of the IRD from the tax practitioners and business experts’ perspectives According to all tax practitioners and business experts in this research, the perceptions of the IRD by SME operators were generally negative and unfavourable which was consistent with SME findings in the OECD countries, as discussed in Chapter 2, section 2.7. The majority of their clients hated the IRD because of: the tax compliance burden; low tax knowledge; and the perceived tax unfairness towards SMEs. As tax compliance required effort, cost and tax knowledge, many found tax compliance to be costly and burdensome: “IRD is not popular. People instinctively dislike the IRD just like some people dislike the police. They see them to be people with extensive power.”(TP4) “They hate them. They think they are monsters and that they are there to eat their taxes, and that they don’t give them a fair go. They just don’t like them, particularly the men folk.” (TP7) “The perception is that tax compliance is difficult and complex because of the barrier. We all hate paying tax and that is just a natural thing. Then there is the difficulty of filing the tax forms. So there is the lack of education, lack of understanding as to how to fill in the forms. When they strike the difficulty of filing the form, they have people to assist them fill the form but they still don’t understand it. Most small business operators don’t understand what they have signed on the forms.” (BE9)
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  • Fall '16
  • tax compliance, SME Operators

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