Richardson 2008 p 72 though the measuremen error can be reduced by using

Richardson 2008 p 72 though the measuremen error can

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be prone to measurement error” (G. Richardson, 2008, p. 72), though the measurement error can be reduced by using averages over several years. Furthermore, cross-cultural tax research has some other limitations which are elaborated in the next subsection.
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23 2.4.1.2 Limitations of cross-cultural tax research Most cross-cultural tax research uses countries as proxies for culture which implicitly assumes cultural homogeneity within the country. This contradicts the increasing trend of multi-cultural societies in the world (Naylor, 1996). Torgler (2007) advises that some cross-country tax analysis may be misleading as “further efforts are still needed to better control for the properties of the tax system and the way in which taxes are administered so as not to confound culture with features of the tax structure” (Torgler, 2007, p. 56). He acknowledges that in addition to culture, differences in the country’s tax structures, tax administrations, types of taxes and tax policies may affect the individuals’ tax compliance decisions and perceptions. Agha and Haughton (1996) caution using tax recommendations based on cross-country analysis. They state that “recommendations based on cross-country comparisons are apt to have a “one size fits all” quality, which overlooks the history, traditions and special features of any given country” (Agha & Haughton, 1996, p. 307). Li (2010) also admonishes cross-country tax analysis, as other important factors such as “the countries’ tax burden, legal origin, culture, and income distribution ought to be taken into account” (p. 160). Given that cross-country tax analysis can be misleading because of the uniqueness of each country’s tax system and historical background, it may be fruitful to undertake an intra-cultural study to overcome these limitations. By doing so, comparative analysis can be achieved by identifying the possible effects of cultural values on ethnic groups’ tax behaviours, since they are regulated under the same tax system and business environment. While most cross-cultural tax evasion studies have enhanced our understanding of compliance variables, there are several limitations which ought to be explained. First, most of the survey questionnaires are directed at tax evasion perceptions and attitudes which imply a deliberate intention to cheat on taxes (Kasipillai & Abdul-Jabbar, 2006). With the criminal connotation and penalties associated with tax evasions, taxpayers may choose not to participate in tax research (Hanefah, Ariff, & Kasipillai, 2001) and they may overrate their own compliance by projecting themselves in a better light (Hessing, Elffers, & Weigel, 1988). Furthermore, not everyone wants to cheat on their taxes, as research has shown a considerable proportion of honest taxpayers, who always pay their taxes (Baldry, 1987; Elffers, 2000; Pyle, 1991).
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24 Pyle (1991) observes that “it seems that whilst the odds are heavily in favour of evaders getting away with it, the vast majority of taxpayers behave honestly” (p. 173). It has been claimed that some taxpayers are “simply predisposed not to evade” (Long & Swingen, 1991, p. 130) and they do not search for ways to cheat on taxes (Frey & Foppa, 1986). Torgler (2007) laments that “tax compliance researchers have paid
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