95 As for the Polynesian men it is not surprising that they have everything a

95 as for the polynesian men it is not surprising

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95 “As for the Polynesian men, it is not surprising that they have everything a mess because their lives are a mess and therefore their taxes are also in a mess.” (TP7) “The average Pacific Islander looks at tax compliance that as long as they do the minimum, they will be OK. They want to put the responsibility into someone else’s hands and they don’t want to take ownership of it.” (BE12) The record keeping attitude of the Pacific group is very similar to the Maori group, as discussed in the next subsection. 6.2.4 Record keeping systems and tax compliance - Maori group Only two Maori operators in this sample admitted to having basic tax knowledge and the remainder admitted to having a fair understanding of tax matters, as shown in Appendix 11. To the Maori group, their main perceptions of tax compliance were “tax penalties” and “bureaucracy” brought about by late/non tax filing and their perceptions of government departments in general. The late/non tax filing was closely related to their inability to retrieve timely tax information: “My husband didn’t file a return for one year, and the IRD would not give us a diversion. We then owe a bill for quite a substantial amount with penalties, and it took us 7 months to clear the debt.” (M1) “If the small businesses did not pay their GST on time, then they are done by the IRD with the penalties.” (M5) Like the Pacific group, tax compliance was strongly associated with “stress” which was related to their lack of accounting proficiency and interest towards record keeping. They therefore outsourced the record keeping task, which increased their compliance costs: “Financial is not my strong point. I would run my business pretty much without the financials and I don’t even worry about it. I would find out whether I have money or not by looking at the bank account balance.” (M3) “I hate the paperwork and stress but I had to learn. Like this office lady charges me $35 an hour for doing my paperwork.” (M7) “In terms of the paperwork and administration, it is not one of my strengths and so it can be frustrating for me at times. I outsource all my tax stuff to the accountant and that saves me a lot of time.” (M5) The predominant negative perceptions associated with tax compliance and the IRD revealed SME operators’ tax attitudes. In contrast, the expectations of tax compliance of
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96 SME operators, as perceived by the tax practitioners and business experts, were consistent with the self assessment tax requirements. 6.2.5 Tax compliance perceptions of tax practitioners and business experts To the tax practitioners, tax compliance was associated with filing accurate and timely tax returns and paying their taxes on time: “To file all necessary tax returns on time and accurately. Compliance means form filling for tax returns, whereas the payment of taxes relate to budgeting and financial planning.” (TP1) However, the above tax compliance requirements were beyond most SME operators as they were not proficient record keepers or money managers: “Not many small businesses are excellent bookkeepers.” (TP2)
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  • Fall '16
  • tax compliance, SME Operators

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